Consortium that includes Apple set to unleash new ‘Wi-Fi Direct’ technology

“On Oct. 14, the Wi-Fi Alliance, a tech industry consortium, said its members will release technology that effectively turns gadgets into mini access points, able to create wireless connections with other Wi-Fi-enabled gadgets or broadband modems within a radius of about 300 feet. The alliance includes Intel, Cisco Systems, Apple, and more than 300 other makers of the equipment that runs Wi-Fi networks, often used to provide wireless Web connections in homes, cafés, hotels, and airports,” Olga Kharif reports for BusinessWeek.

“The new technology, called Wi-Fi Direct, will be built directly into consumer electronics and automatically scan the vicinity for existing hotspots and the gamut of Wi-Fi equipped devices, including phones, computers, TVs, and gaming consoles. Owners of most existing Wi-Fi-enabled devices will be able to upgrade to Wi-Fi Direct with a simple software download,” Kharif reports for BusinessWeek.

Full article here.

31 Comments

  1. This is supposed to kill Blue-Tooth. Why have two separate battery-sucking radios if just a minor tweak of an existing protocol can provide same functionality with significantly greater speeds (and range)?

  2. @DX and Original Jake

    Use your brains and do a little research –Business Week has no incentive to pay for extra writing to advertise something that hasn’t even been released yet. They expect that their readers are mostly business people who might make an investment decision based on what they do, not consumers who need to persuaded to buy some gadget.

    The answer–you don’t need to buy a Linksys or mobile cellphone company route to spread point-source broadband access to a wide variety of devices, in places like cars, airports, private studies, etc. Wi-Fi Direct will solve the security and compatibility problems that Cisco and the cellphone companies have done in a clumsy fashion.

    So tired of whiners. . .

  3. This is a peer-to-peer specification, allowing WiFi devices to connect directly with each other rather than needing a wireless router. This is extremely beneficial to everyone. It basically mimics the ability of Bluetooth allowing two devices to communicate between each other.

    Currently WiFi devices have to go through an intermediary device (wireless router) that sets up a local WiFi network in order to communicate with each other… For example you’re always asked to “choose a wireless network”. Instead of needing to connect to an entire network, this new spec will allow you to “choose a wireless device” to connect to.

    This is analogous to a null modem cable or ethernet “patch” cable when you need to connect directly to only one device.

  4. WiFi mesh network creating a growing relay of shared access points. Think of it as P2P WiFi.
    You’re in the parking of a gas station filling up and need to check your email there is a Starbucks 3 blocks from you with a open WiFi Hotspot running WiFi Direct and 13 HD TVs with WiFi Direct enabled WiFi in them. You pull out your iPod touch and connect to the internet and get your email using the open Starbucks WiFi Hotspot. The WiFi Direct devices between you and Starbucks made that connect possible as they extended the signal and relayed the traffic from one device to the next. All without you needing to know were and to what hotspot you were routed to.
    In denser areas like say a crowded city street or Apartment building you might have many open WiFi connects with WiFi Direct and many hundred or even thousands of devices to peer together for better then cell phone coverage. A moving network mesh of WiFi Direct enabled devices all sharing a common channel and all without conflicting and walking all over each other peered together into one massive networking sharing multiply internet connections.

  5. “Business Week has no incentive to pay for extra writing to advertise something that hasn’t even been released yet.”

    You mean for a non-Microsoft product. Because we’ve seen that MS is pretty free with the loot when trying to advertise vaporware.

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