LAS VEGAS--Amimon, which is the strongest supporter of the Wireless Home Digital Interface display standard and announced the Asus WAVI earlier this week, demoed at CES 2011 a variety of solutions through which WHDI-enabled devices could potentially change the way we interact with indoor entertainment.
Similar to Intel's WiDi and Sibeam's WirelessHD, WHDI is a technology that allows devices to connect to a HDMI TV wirelessly and transmit audio and video at full HD quality (1080p). The strength of WHDI is the fact that it has almost no latency and, therefore, other than high-def movies, enables interactive applications, such as a game playing, from your laptop on a big-screen TV.
Amimon WHDI demo
Like all wireless standards, including the ever popular Wi-Fi, in order to make a wireless connection possible, there needs to be two pieces of equipment: one to be used at the source (a laptop, camera, game console, and so on), and the other at the TV. These accessories are no longer needed when the technology is embedded within the devices involved. Currently, as most electronics don't have any of the wireless display technologies built-in, you'll see a lot of these accessories.
As WHDI shares the same type of connectivity as HDMI, the mainstream type of connection for high-def content, it works anywhere a HDMI cable is in use, just without the need for the cable itself. Amimon's WHDI kit generally includes two adapters that connect to the HDMI ports of the TV and of the source device.
Amimon's first demo was to show that one WHDI receiver (convected to a TV) can work with multiple sources, including a security camera, a laptop, and a media player. Users could switch from one source to another via a remote control. This worked very well, though the time required to switch between video sources was rather long, taking around 10 seconds, much slower than switching a TV channel.
The second demo was to show that users can view a few mobile devices' (including an iPad and a Nokia N8 smartphone) screens on a big TV. This also worked quite well. I was able to play games, watch movies, display photos, or just move around the handheld devices' settings while viewing its content on the plasma TV. The quality of these images was really good and there seemed no lag at all.
All in all, the demos show great potential for WHDI. And it will remain "potential" until final products are made available for consumers to purchase. Amimon says that the solution for the Nokia N8, which is a case that works both as a battery pack and a WHDI transmitter, will be coming out later this year. The rest of them, including an accessory for the iPad, as well as other embedded solutions, might take a longer time for the design to be finalized.