People are just realising what WiFi actually stands for…and the answer may surprise you
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Whether you work from home or stream Netflix, you’ll be more than aware of how valuable a fast and reliable WiFi connection is.
But have you ever stopped to think of the meaning behind the word and what it may actually stand for?
Some may have been told it stands for ‘wireless fidelity’ – a bit like how Hi-Fi stands for ‘high fidelity.’
But one of the founding members of the Wi-fi Alliance has tried to dispell this origin myths, and the truth may surprise you.
But you may be surprised to find out what WiFi stands for – or presumed WiFi was short for ‘wireless fidelity’
Phil Belanger said: ‘It is not an acronym. There is no meaning’.
He explained that some people working in the tech sector simply wanted a less fiddly name to refer to IEEE 802.11 standard technology.
‘We needed something that was a little catchier than ‘IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence,’ he explained.
‘The Wi-Fi Alliance hired Interbrand to come up with ideas, and the brand consultancy proposed 10 names, including Wi-Fi (which sounds lot like ‘hi-fi,’ AKA ‘high fidelity’).
He explained that the word’s incorrect etymology had arisen as a direct consequence of his colleagues’ awkwardness.
‘The only reason that you hear anything about ‘Wireless Fidelity’ is some of my colleagues in the group were afraid.
‘They didn’t understand branding or marketing. They could not imagine using the name ‘Wi-Fi’ without having some sort of literal explanation.
Phil explained that some people working in the tech sector simply wanted a less fiddly name to refer to IEEE 802.11 standard technology
‘So we compromised and agreed to include the tag line ‘The Standard for Wireless Fidelity’ along with the name.
‘This was a mistake and only served to confuse people and dilute the brand.’
In addition to this perplexing revelation, it turns out that according to the tech expert, the term ‘wireless fidelity’ is similarly meaningless.
Phil dubbed it ‘a clumsy attempt to find two words that could go with ‘Wi-Fi.’
He added: ‘Though the tagline, ‘The Standard for Wireless Fidelity,’ appeared in early communications and swag circa 2000, the Wi-Fi Alliance opted to drop it after about a year or so.
‘So we were smart to hire Interbrand to come up with the name and logo. We were dumb to confuse and water down their efforts by adding the meaningless tag line,’ he concluded.
Phil urged: ‘Please help reinforce the good work that we did and forget the tag line’.
Did you know that WiFi didn’t actually stand for anything? Let us know below.
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