Wi-Fi technology today is found all over the world, and the means for making it fast and reliable was an Australian invention.
It is the same wireless network technology that allows our phones, computers and other technologies to connect to the internet reliably and at fast speeds.
Today the technology is so widespread there are far, far more Wi-Fi devices than there are human beings; by 2020, there will be close to 40 billion devices worldwide, according to one estimate.
There are even Wi-Fi connected toasters and sex toys.
Twenty years ago (on January 23, 1996) CSIRO’s patent for a method of creating a fast and reliable Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) was approved in the US.
Since then, the CSIRO has made more than $420 million from the invention (not adjusted for inflation), making it the organisation's best performing commercial enterprise.
But, it has not been a smooth ride for the CSIRO and investors in the technology, with CSIRO having to sue companies that used the technology for royalties since the patent was approved in the US.