The "neighbor awareness" technology behind Wi-Fi Aware operates continuously in the background, sending very small messages to enable service discovery for a wide range of applications. Wi-Fi Aware-certified devices will discover before connecting, further improving Wi-Fi’s convenience for social applications such as gaming, peer-to-peer messaging, and media sharing, as well as location-specific services such as proximity assessment, contextual notifications, and offers. The user may then launch an application, which will connect via Wi-Fi Direct or traditional Wi-Fi to use the service.
Wi-Fi Aware is designed to work well in crowded environments and indoors, and to minimize power consumption. Applications on a mobile device will use Wi-Fi Aware both to offer and to find services on other devices. The user may then "opt-in" to initiate a connection to the discovered device, often without using an internet connection.
The value of Wi-Fi Aware comes alive in social, local and mobile applications. For example, a user may download a shopping application which leverages Wi-Fi Aware to find nearby availability of the user’s preferred brands. In another example, devices using a jukebox application can find one another to tailor the playlist at a venue or party based on users’ musical preferences.