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Wi-Fi Direct Shares over wireless connection peer-to-peer  (Source: Wi-Fi.org)
Wi-fi Direct allows devices to directly connect with no hot spot

The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced a new Wi-Fi specification that allows devices to directly connect to each other. The new specification is called Wi-Fi Direct and it has launched today. 

The alliance has started to certify products for Wi-Fi Direct already and so far there are five certified chipsets ready to be integrated into devices from companies like Atheros, Broadcom, Intel, Ralink, and Realtek. The goal of the new specification and hardware is to allow devices to directly connect to each other to exchange data like files and images without needing a hotspot.

The interesting part of the new specification is that only one of the devices needs Wi-Fi Direct. Any Wi-Fi enabled device can connect to the Wi-Fi Direct device and both devices can share data over the connection.

"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." 

Wi-Fi Direct is a software suite that will "at some point" be offered for download wirelessly to a device. Presumably that will mean existing devices can take advantage of Wi-Fi Direct as well. The new specification is also secure with connections using WPA2 authentication and encryption. These security protocols are automatically part of launching a Wi-Fi Direct connection.

The new specification has other uses as well and Rob Enderle, an analyst from Enderle Group said, "[Wi-Fi direct will evolve into a way for users to] piggyback on a Wi-Fi Direct network connection and then connect to the Web where you might otherwise not be able to."



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soooooooo
By sprockkets on 10/25/2010 11:28:11 AM , Rating: 4
What was ad-hoc then? Been around since day one. Even if you didn't set ip's windows would still see each other on the 169 auto set ip address scheme.




RE: soooooooo
By nolisi on 10/25/2010 2:33:11 PM , Rating: 3
Ad hoc is a Windows configuration for direct network connections. Not all devices (phones, handheld game consoles) have an ad-hoc mechanism built into the wifi client- and even if they do, it still likely requires some basic knowledge of TCP/IP to make it work, be able to transfer files, etc.

This sounds like a fully functional interface that handles everything from establishing the connection to providing an interface for transfering/communicating wirelessly, and will likely have an API that programmers can call so that their apps (such as games) can establish connection.

When I want to transfer files (pictures, apps, vcards) between android phones, I use Bump, which has an interface to select what I want to transfer, and completes the connection (over the wireless network, unfortunately) between my phone and the destination phone without having to configure TCP/IP, or know the destination address of the phone, or use messy netbios broadcasts that may get discarded as a result of firewall or other security settings. This sounds like a solution/spec for all Wifi capable devices that mitigates several of these issues for non technical users.


RE: soooooooo
By wolrah on 10/25/2010 3:28:48 PM , Rating: 2
Ad-hoc is not a Windows-only thing, it is a defined mode of WiFi. The other mode is "infrastructure" mode, which we all know from every normal access point.

I really don't see what this brings over existing protocols. 802.11 ad-hoc for layer 1/2, IPv4 using APIPA and IPv6 with its normal link-local addressing for layer 3, and Bonjour/Zeroconf or UPnP for discovery. Why reinvent the wheel?


RE: soooooooo
By Chaser on 10/25/2010 4:31:49 PM , Rating: 3
read your last paragraph for the average consumer that buys say a "wifi direct" enabled SLR camera.


"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov











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