The Wi-Fi Alliance announced today that Wi-Fi 7 Certified products are ready to hit the market. The latest version of the Wi-Fi standard promises the possibility of “near-zero” latency for real-time applications like wireless VR streaming.

The Wi-Fi Alliance (the organization that maintains and develops the Wi-Fi standard) announced today that applicable products can officially be “Wi-Fi 7 Certified” and be sold as such.

The Wi-Fi 7 (AKA spec delivers the usual improvements you’d expect, like improved speed and transmission, but the Alliance also calls out latency improvements for wireless VR use-cases like using Steam Link on Quest.

Specifically the group says the Multi-Link Operation (MLO) and Simultaneous Transmission and Reception (STR) features are claimed to support “near-zero latency” which would benefit to wireless VR.

MLO allows Wi-Fi 7 devices to connect to multiple bands (ie: 2.4Ghz, 5Ghz, 6Ghz) at the same time for increased throughput and reliability. STR, a component of MLO, allows Wi-Fi 7 devices to send and receive data simultaneously across those difference bands.

Conceivably a wireless VR headset could receive a high-throughput video stream on the 6GHz band while simultaneously transmitting its own tracking information on the 5GHz band to minimize latency.

The Wi-Fi Alliance also says Wi-Fi 7 allows for “deterministic latency,” which could allow wireless VR to better handle situations where there is latency. Knowing what how much latency is in the overall pipeline makes it easier to predict the headset’s position, reducing apparent latency.

However, even if “near-zero latency” pans out to be true in practice, this doesn’t mean a completely latency-free VR experience, simply because the latency introduced by Wi-Fi  transmission is only a fraction of the overall latency pipeline. There’s still the latency from rendering, encoding, decoding, and device-dependent latency.

Update (January 9th, 2024): Changed headline to prevent potentially misleading interpretation regarding “near-zero latency” claim. 

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • MackRogers

    Let’s hope they didn’t measure this “near zero latency” in their custom faraday cage located 10 miles beneath the ocean powered by nuclear fission.

    • ViRGiN


      • xyzs

        Not in an asylum with Zuck sexdolls like you do…

        • kakek

          A zuck sexdoll probably looks more alive than zuck himself.

  • Stealth Ico

    this is crazy because you can already reach 19ms on steam link on quest 3 with the appropriate wifi 6e router, so pushing that down even further would be something else

    at that point the only advances left is on the encoding/decoding front

    • Pab

      You are also getting compressed graphics on the quest.

      • Stealth Ico

        name a better wireless VR solution than quest 3 with a good router

        • Pab

          I rather keep the Video wire for sims, and now for UEVR

    • blahblahblahblah

      What would be an appropriate 6e router for the Quest 3? I’ve tried googling but there is very little information.

      • ShaneMcGrath

        ASUS and Netgear, Not cheap though.

    • ameba#23234 mdrea

      thats for low bitrates tho

      400 and up still is around 30-50

  • ViRGiN

    Still won’t be enough for DisplayPort elitists

  • Naviben Vanol

    we are not limit by bandwidth but encoding and decoding

    • Sofian

      Isn’t encoding/decoding needed because of the limited bandwidth?

  • Foreign Devil

    All I want to know is will I still have to run a long ass cable through my house from the router to the PC for wireless PC-VR?

  • Pab

    Finaly PCVR will be decent on Quest

  • Ad

    This is a fairly old promise that’s likely not true but it probably is better and it sounds great to use multiple bands at once. Still need devices and routers that support it first.

  • Derek Kent

    Just in time for the 4000 dollar Apple Vision Pro to come out with not even wifi 6e hahahaha