Watch out, Bluetooth. The Wi-Fi Alliance has introduced a new Wi-Fi specification called Wi-Fi Direct, which will enable Wi-Fi devices to communicate with each other on a peer-to-peer basis, within a radius of about 300 feet.
In terms of peripherals, Wi-Fi Direct has a clear advantage over Bluetooth in its wider range and faster, typical Wi-Fi data rates, plus its security measures are taken from existing Wi-Fi specs, bolstering enterprise adoption. Even worse for Bluetooth, almost any Wi-Fi gadget will be able to easily upgrade to Wi-Fi Direct, the Alliance said. And there are a lot of Wi-Fi-enabled gadgets out there. It plans to kick off certification in mid-2010.
Of course, Bluetooth is planning Bluetooth 3.0, which uses 802.11 technology to speed up its data transfer rates. “With the availability of Bluetooth version 3.0 HS, consumers can expect to move large data files of videos, music and photos between their own devices and the trusted devices of others, without the need for cables and wires,” the Bluetooth SIG said.
But the more interesting story is the potential for Wi-Fi Direct in mesh, peer-to-peer networking. Consider the capability of blanketing a home with wireless via these direct connections, making wireless content porting a snap, be it from a television to a computer or a wireless device. Even better, Wi-Fi Direct can link devices without the need for a Web connection. Consider: in an enterprise campus environment, files can be ported around between terminals without the need for a connection to the Internet.