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Wi-Fi Direct Coming, Could Wipe Out Bluetooth

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 29 comments

Why didn't they firm this up sooner?

Our mobile devices, from larger ones like laptops to smaller ones like cell phones, have a good number of wireless radios inside of them.

Having a Wi-Fi radio is essential to connect to access points for internet connectivity, which is how most people use their Wi-Fi hardware. Of course, Wi-Fi radios can also connect laptops together for ad-hoc networks.

So why, then, do we not use our Wi-Fi radios for connecting more devices together, such as cell phones to laptops, or even cameras, printers--some of which already have Wi-Fi hardware? The Wi-Fi Alliance has pondered the same thing and today announced that it is nearing completion of a new specification enabling Wi-Fi devices to connect to one another without joining a traditional home, office, or hotspot network.

The Wi-Fi Alliance said that it expects to begin certification for this new specification in mid-2010, and products which achieve the certification will be designated Wi-Fi Direct (formerly code-named "Wi-Fi peer-to-peer").

The upcoming spec would allow all sorts of devices to interface with each other, including keyboards and headphones. This, of course, would threaten Bluetooth as the close-range wireless standard for small devices.

Perhaps most excitingly is that devices certified to the upcoming new specification will also be able to create connections with hundreds of millions of Wi-Fi legacy devices already in use. It's unclear if legacy hardware will require software updates to support the Wi-Fi Direct standard, but we'd imagine so.

"Wi-Fi Direct represents a leap forward for our industry. Wi-Fi users worldwide will benefit from a single-technology solution to transfer content and share applications quickly and easily among devices, even when a Wi-Fi access point isn't available," said Wi-Fi Alliance executive director Edgar Figueroa. "The impact is that Wi-Fi will become even more pervasive and useful for consumers and across the enterprise."

Wi-Fi Direct will feature many of the same features and characteristics of existing Wi-Fi, such as WPA2 security, ranges and data rates.

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    burnley14 , October 14, 2009 10:43 PM
    This would be awesome. Bluetooth is really convenient and all, but Wi-Fi is that much more so.
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    burnley14 , October 14, 2009 10:43 PM
    This would be awesome. Bluetooth is really convenient and all, but Wi-Fi is that much more so.
  • -4 Hide
    Jazzmain , October 14, 2009 10:45 PM
    mmmm, good point.
  • -4 Hide
    scook9 , October 14, 2009 10:52 PM
    this would be nice and sounds exactly like what intel is already planning with their upcoming wi-fi stuff for the calpella platform
  • -3 Hide
    Kelavarus , October 14, 2009 11:18 PM
    mlopinto2k1Jesus, think POSITIVE people! Not DEMONIC! Wait, most of you are Atheist's, who am I kidding. That means be criminals! Right?


    ... What the?

    Meh. I don't use Bluetooth anyway, haven't found a use for it yet.
  • 0 Hide
    sanchz , October 14, 2009 11:33 PM
    It's good to see technologies unified, Wi-Fi Direct, Open Physics in new-gen graphics, Intel Light-Peak.
    Bluetooth is useful, but one technology for all purposes is good.
  • 0 Hide
    anonymousdude , October 14, 2009 11:35 PM
    Only thing I'm worrying about is interference.
  • 6 Hide
    schmich , October 14, 2009 11:38 PM
    Topic is >here< you --------------------> X
    If you are lost on the Internets please head to google.com to orientate yourself again. Have a nice day.
  • 1 Hide
    schmich , October 14, 2009 11:39 PM
    Um that was for mlopinto2k1 by the way. I thought the comment would go below his.
  • 0 Hide
    mrhappy50 , October 14, 2009 11:58 PM
    hopefully it wont take 6 or 7 years to make it the official version. :) 
  • 1 Hide
    deltatux , October 15, 2009 12:36 AM
    It should kill off Bluetooth (even though I like Bluetooth as is except for high royalty causing devices to be expensive) because creating Wi-Fi devices should be cheaper.

    Also, hopefully it'll use the 5 GHz spectrum as the 2.4 GHz spectrum is way too crowded.
  • 7 Hide
    astromud , October 15, 2009 1:44 AM
    My first thought is how will this affect battery life in portable devices? My experience has been that batteries drain like there is no tomorrow when wifi is enabled.... Bluetooth not so much.
  • 4 Hide
    hack__you , October 15, 2009 6:15 AM
    dont wash my mug hon, it's downloading house s06e05 from the coffee maker
  • 0 Hide
    hack__you , October 15, 2009 6:16 AM
    dont wash my mug hon, it's downloading house s06e05 from the coffee maker
  • 1 Hide
    wildwell , October 15, 2009 6:35 AM
    I wonder how this will force Bluetooth to improve?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 15, 2009 6:56 AM
    No need to wait 2010, www.goomeo.com a mobile social network, use the same technology : file, contact, mp3 sharing between wifi mobile.
  • 0 Hide
    r3t4rd , October 15, 2009 8:57 AM
    koomNo need to wait 2010, www.goomeo.com a mobile social network, use the same technology : file, contact, mp3 sharing between wifi mobile.

    www.goomeo.com is already next on the chopping block for the RIAA.
  • 0 Hide
    frenchy , October 15, 2009 1:39 PM
    I'm not against wifi-direct but I do have one concern about it. With that more many devices using wifi such as keyboards, mouse etc, won't there be to many signals in an area? Causing a slow down in data transfers?
  • 0 Hide
    cscott_it , October 15, 2009 2:13 PM
    mlopinto2k1Jesus, think POSITIVE people! Not DEMONIC! Wait, most of you are Atheist's, who am I kidding. That means be criminals! Right?


    This seems sort of off topic bud. Last time I checked though, religion had nothing to do with people doing evil things. Nutjobs come in all flavors and nothing inhibits immorality aside from choices the person makes.

    \back on topic\

    Any-way, I'd like to see the white papers in the near future and a chance to look over the preliminary testing.
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