Creative Names for Wireless Network Devices and Services

Fifty years ago, audio electronics were often marketed under the generic term Hi-Fi, short for high fidelity. Hi-Fi and Sci-Fi were basically the only forms of "Fi" in our vocabulary until Wi-Fi wireless networking came along. Nowadays it seems as if we are being flooded with all sorts of consumer gadgets and services with either “Wi” or "Fi" in their name, most having no relationship to each other. Here are some of the more interesting examples (listed in alphabetical order).

Although the name didn’t seem to stick, here at About.com I also coined the term Poo-Fi in 2012. That city experiment in rewarding park goers with free Wi-Fi in exchange for depositing dog poo in the correct trash receptacles may not have taken the world by storm, but hopefully Poo-Fi can be reused for a similar project someday.

1
CyFi

A smartphone and a wireless network
Yagi Studio / Getty Images

Beginning in 2008, the company CyFi LLC produced a line of Bluetooth wireless speakers specially designed for bicycling and other outdoor sports use. These products have since been discontinued. CyFi is currently a trademark of Cypress Semiconductor attached to certain of their embedded wireless network technologies.

2
EyeFi

The company EyeFi produces a family of branded memory card for digital cameras. The cards feature small embedded Wi-Fi radios that enable automatic uploading of photos from the camera to a remote host.

3
Fly-Fi

Trademarked by JetBlue Airways, Fly-Fi is the airline’s in-flight Wi-Fi Internet access service highly touted for its ability to support high-speed connections for many simultaneous users.

4
LiFi

The term “LiFi” is sometimes used to describe Visible Light Communications (VLC) technologies for wireless networking. LiFi networks use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to transmit data but otherwise work similarly to infrared network connections that use wavelengths of light invisible to the human eye. LiFi is a registered trademark of Luxim Corporation who used it some years ago to brand its "Light Fidelity" technology (not network related) for projection televisions.

5
MiFi

Novatel Wireless trademarked the name “MiFi” and uses it to brand their line of wireless hotspot devices. Some unrelated products have used the similar name "MyFi" such as the MyFi satellite radio receiver from Delphi Corporation.

6
TriFi

Sierra Wireless produced "TriFi" branded wireless hotspots for connecting to Sprint's cellular data networks. These products were so named due to the three kinds of long-range wireless connections - LTE, WiMax and 3G - that Sprint supported at the time of the hotspot's launch in 2012.

7
Vi-Fi

Vi-Fi is a registered trademark of MaXentric Technologies, LLC that produces 60 GHz wireless protocol products. Previously, Microsoft Corporation and some academic researchers had used the term for their work on enhanced Wi-Fi network technology for use in moving vehicles.

8
We-Fi

Wefi.com maintains a database of public Wi-Fi hotspots and operates a business around network management software and services.

9
WiFox

In 2012, researchers at North Carolina State University received significant press attention for “WiFox” - technology for prioritizing Wi-Fi traffic on crowded networks that showed promise for increasing the performance of wireless hotspots. News about WiFox has been sparse ever since.

10
Wi-Vi

Researchers at M.I.T. developed a type of network called “Wi-Vi” that uses an array of Wi-Fi radios to detect moving objects hidden behind walls.