Wi-Fi Alliance starts certifying Wi-Fi Direct products

By on October 25, 2010, 12:22 PM
The Wi-Fi Alliance has begun certifying Wi-Fi Direct devices, meaning you can expect the first approved products to arrive this holiday season. Wi-Fi Direct enables device-to-device connections using current Wi-Fi standards. While communicating between Wi-Fi devices isn't new (the Nintendo DS, for instance, offers device-to-device Wi-Fi interaction), this is the first time the technology will not be proprietary. Furthermore, since Wi-Fi Direct is largely software based, many recent devices should be upgradeable (certification could be applied retroactively after a firmware upgrade).

Certifying Wi-Fi Direct as a standard ensures interoperability, meaning devices stamped with said certification can use their own wireless connectivity to connect directly with each other, without requiring access to wireless networks. In other words, a Wi-Fi Direct certified laptop, for example, would be able to send documents to your printer (just one of the two connected devices needs to be Wi-Fi Direct certified) and keep your phone's contacts up to date (most products certified will support "one-to-many" connections), without having to talk to your router.

Range will eventually be a major selling point; it's reasonable to expect that future Wi-Fi Direct devices will be able to achieve distances similar to our home wireless networks. It's also important to note that while 802.11a/g/n is supported over 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, there's no requirement for Wi-Fi Direct products to support 802.11b.

Bluetooth will undoubtedly be the first technology to suffer as a result of Wi-Fi Direct, though we should see fewer USB connections around as well. Since Wi-Fi Direct will be able to use the same transponders as other Wi-Fi functions, device manufacturers will be happy to remove redundant technologies in order to cut costs.





User Comments: 19

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ViNCiLiCiouS said:

Interesting.

I can see this taking foothold in the more casual market. Say a bunch of college kids in a dorm that need quick sharing without having to create links in Dropbox (and they go to college... where? :P) Or in a family...

... I'm not sure as I see alot of better implementations. USB is considerably faster, easier to use. Dropbox is even more accessible. I expect configurations to get really messy (probably a standalone client on the remote PCs, etc.) People that need this extensively probably use their router already. Etc, Etc.

However, more functionality options is always good, and not proprietary is great as well.

Demons said:

I think that distance in larger areas might become an issue with this... you wont quite get the same range that you would get with a access point talking to both devices. Usually your access point is somewhere between the two devices since you typically put your access point in a central location. Access points also have better antennas than most client devices which will also limit range. Should be much better than line-of-sight Bluetooth though....

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

So this is basically a way better version of Bluetooth?! good, I use my iPhone with the bluetooth in my car and its soo slow to load up contacts etc... it would be nice to actually be able to send data quickly! Although I can see this being a complete replacment for bluetooth, I would love to be able to sync my iPhone without having to physically plug it in.

I mean, USB won't die or anything, I would use it still to charge and sync bigger files etc...

But has anyone here been really annoyed when they have just bought a song from iTunes and you want to sync just that one song, but you have to find an iPod cable, find a spare USB slot etc...

Wouldn't it be nice to just hit "sync" and its all done wireless

gandolf1974 said:

Interesting article. There is just one problem I would have with using it. How secure is it? Will it allow encryption? If so what kind of encryption will it use? If these questions are not answered then I would not expect it to go anywhere in the business world.

dustin_ds3000 dustin_ds3000, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Wi-Fi Direct would be cool to have to mice and keyboards, if you could somehow get power over Wi-Fi Direct too.

dart said:

It does sound good and hopefully it will be faster/comparable to Bluetooth 3.0. It can be applied to many peripherals but on which will it be actually implemented will be interesting.

kaonis92 said:

It was about time to do that. Bluetooth is too slow for our requirements. But as gandolf said above it's importand to know how secure it is in case they use it for other devices except for smartphones etc.

dawgtothebone said:

It would be amazing if this technology was used in embedded applications.Standardization could definitely lead to better designs such as no need for tight spaces to hook up a cable and flash program some micro controller.However I can see myself playing practical jokes such as printing on my neighbour printer ( if only one of the connected devices need Wi-Fi Direct ).

gandolf1974-Im pretty sure there will be some standard of encryption.Im rooting for WPA2 standard.One must keep in mind that where ever there are encrpytions there are also people trying to break them.

princeton princeton said:

dustin_ds3000 said:

Wi-Fi Direct would be cool to have to mice and keyboards, if you could somehow get power over Wi-Fi Direct too.

Did you ever go to school? You do realize getting electrons to flow wirelessly is 100% impossible, right? I learned that in second grade science....

bakape said:

dustin_ds3000 said:

Wi-Fi Direct would be cool to have to mice and keyboards, if you could somehow get power over Wi-Fi Direct too.

Hehe...no...

Ad-hoc, bluetooth, good bye and good riddance! With this and PCI wireless, the future is looking bright indeed.

posermobile89 said:

This would be awesome to extend wifi signals. You could use certified devices as a repeater. But this would lead to people eavesdropping on your information as their device repeats

Guest said:

Princeton, he said power which doesn't have to be electrons, and yes that most definitely can be delivered without a physical connection... You'll learn that in the third grade.

motrin said:

i would like it if laptops and desktops would be released with this to! For transfering files to and from phones, psp's, it would be cool and fast!

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Interesting.

However, Bluetooth 4.0 still seems like a more efficient way to share and connect. At least from a company standpoint. This is mainly due to its low energy consumption on portable devices.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

lawfer said:

Interesting.

However, Bluetooth 4.0 still seems like a more efficient way to share and connect. At least from a company standpoint. This is mainly due to its low energy consumption on portable devices.

Agreed actually, you have a point I didn't take in, Power consumption! WiFi isn't excactly power hungry but on mobiles etc... it drains like no tomorrow!

ruzveh said:

Wow thats great job. Definately it wil be a great boon for wifi direct & trouble for bluetooth. I would definately prefer wifi over bluetooth. Waiting for my devices to upgrade soon :)

ruzveh said:

And i also think this will solve the IPv4 availability for some time now.

oasis789 said:

Did you ever go to school? You do realize getting electrons to flow wirelessly is 100% impossible, right? I learned that in second grade science....

wasnt tesla working on this issue?

dawgtothebone said:

Yes.Tesla was working on it.These days its called IPT technologies,Inductive power transfer. There is a lot of research going into this at the moment, from wirelessly powered kitchen appliances,wirelessly charging electric cars and cooking.

@Princeton at college/university you will learn that you have been lied to :P.Look up antenna theory and you will be enlightened that electrons do fly off into space from the end of an antenna and nobody actually knows how this happens.Antenna design a pain,Apple knows :P . However you are correct in the sense that one cannot transfer power wirelessly over wi-fi .....yet.

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