The father of WiFi

We’ve talked about the father of the internet, I proclaimed its grandfather in that same post, and now it’s time to learn about Vic Hayes, the father of WiFi.

Because he’s considered its father, it’s understandable to assume that Vic Hayes invented WiFi. Actually, he didn’t, but was the chairman of the IEEE committee that created WiFi’s 802.11 standards in the late 1990’s.

Many in the industry―especially those from down under―insist that Australian Dr. John O’Sullivan invented it. He developed technology that made wireless LANs faster and more reliable. Others aren’t so fast to give Dr. O’Sullivan the nod as WiFi’s creator because his invention only pioneered the development of WiFi technology. Either way, his native Australia was impressed, awarding him the Australian Prime Minister’s 2009 Prize for Science.

Interesting Tidbit Alert: WiFi doesn’t stand for Wireless Fidelity, as most assume due to its similarity to HiFi, which stands for High Fidelity. The Wi-Fi Alliance® coined the name. Founded in 1999, they are a worldwide network of companies that drive global adoption of Wi-Fi and develops innovative technologies, requirements, and testing to ensure WiFi provides consumers the security, reliability, and interoperability they’ve come to expect.