Wi-Fi Direct mimics Bluetooth but with faster speed, longer range

wi fi direct mimics bluetooth but with faster speed longer range allianceThe world might have moved closer to becoming an actual wireless society today. The Wi-Fi Alliance announced that it has begun to certify new products as being capable of making device-to-device Wi-Fi connections, and labeling those products “Wi-Fi Certified Wi-Fi Direct.”

Wi-Fi Direct is a new technology that allows for connections to be made between devices, without the presence of a traditional network or central Wi-Fi access point. While similar in function to existing Bluetooth technology, Wi-Fi Direct is promising faster connection speeds – up to 250mbps – with a range of up to 200 yards.

In an era where juggling digital content between multiple devices is an everyday routine, the technology has miles of potential – if it can catch on with manufacturers. Just imagine some of the theoretical implications: Printers printing photos sent directly from a camera; home stereos playing playlists through a connection with a MP3 player; laptops transmitting the Sunday paper to an e-reader from the other side of the house and two floors down; and so on.

The Wi-Fi Alliance says that the technology will make device-to-device connections both easy and safe through a “push-button set up mechanism” and by making use of the latest WPA2 security.

“We designed Wi-Fi Direct to unleash a wide variety of applications which require device connections, but do not need the Internet or even a traditional network,” said Edgar Figueroa, CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance. “Wi-Fi Direct empowers users to connect devices – when, where and how they want to, and our certification program delivers products that work well together, regardless of the brand.”

Only one device in a connection will need to be Wi-Fi Direct capable so long as the other device or devices in the connection can pick up a Wi-Fi signal . For example, a Wi-Fi Direct certified printer should be able to connect with a smartphone and print a photo from the phone, so long as the phone can connect to Wi-Fi.

The alliance has announce several devices as already Wi-Fi Direct certified, including an Atheros PCIe Mini Card, a Realtek PCI mini card, and a Broadcom PCIe Half Mini Card. We imagine more companies will jump aboard the Wi-Fi Direct train before the holidays.

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