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How-To Geek

GEEK TRIVIA

Wi-Fi Derives Its Name From What Source?
Radio Standards
Speakers
Naming Lottery
Lab Procedures


Answer: Speakers

Known originally simply by its technical designation IEEE 802.11b, Wi-Fi technology was a technology for want of a catchy name. In 1999 the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) hired marketing and branding company Interbrand to come up with a memorable name for the soon to be ubiquitous communication protocol.

Of all the proposed names, WECA selected Wi-Fi, a play on the stereo term hi-fi–high fidelity–the high quality reproduction of sound via well engineered stereo components and speakers. Other almost-adopted names pitched by Interbrand included Hornet, Trapeze, and Dragonfly.

Initially there was no attempt made to explain what Wi-Fi meant. In response to consumer curiosity, the Wi-Fi Alliance (previously WECA), added a tag line to their advertising that read “The Standard for Wireless Fidelity.” The tagline was dropped shortly after it was introduced and all reference to Wi-Fi having anything to do, play on words or otherwise, with high-fidelity sound vanished. The current stance of the Wi-Fi alliance is that Wi-Fi has no definition and is simply a name.

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