Patent published on August 10, 2023

Apple's New Feature in AirPort Extreme Makes Your Home Wi-Fi Faster and More Efficient

In its continuous effort to enhance its consumers' experience, Apple has proposed an innovative solution to speed up home Wi-Fi, especially when numerous devices are connected simultaneously. According to its recently published patent, US20230254732A1, Apple has shed light on a feature that could tremendously augur well for Apple AirPort Extreme users.

Explained in non-technical language, the patent hints at a technique that allows a device to act as a nexuses, a point that manages and distributes Wi-Fi signals evenly to other devices connected to the network. It can accurately gauge how many gadgets are connected and the amount of Wi-Fi each one is using. It's much like a traffic cop for your home Wi-Fi, ensuring there's less slowing down or interruptions, even when you have multiple devices connected.

Expressed in a series of intricate diagrams, the patent explains that using multiple links could reduce transmission delays. Imagine a crowded highway with only a single lane open—you would have to wait for the vehicles in front to move before it's your turn. Now, imagine if multiple lanes were open—you'd be able to choose the least congested lane and move faster. This is precisely what's being proposed in terms of your Wi-Fi network's functioning.

Additionally, the patent takes into account the power consumption, suggesting that operation over multiple links could consume more power than a single one. But by effectively signaling multi-link device load information, they could be used for network selection, congestion control, and other functions. This could lead to improvements in throughput (the amount of data being transferred), reliability, and/or power consumption, among various other potential benefits.

To give a clear picture, visual representations of this concept are annotated in multiple figures demonstrating a wireless communication system, including a user equipment device (UE), network element or access point, and a flowchart displaying the proposed method for multi-link device load signaling in a wireless local area network environment.

In a nutshell, with this patent, Apple aims not only to enhance the speed and efficiency of your home Wi-Fi system but also to address the power consumption concerns that surface with the usage of multiple links. However, it's worth noting that a patent is just a possibility - there's no guarantee that this feature will see the light of day in the market. After all, the journey from patent to product is a long and winding one, filled with countless practicalities and market considerations. However, should this come to fruition, we could see a leap in how we experience Wi-Fi at home.

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