Upcoming Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Direct program will make it easy to
connect devices directly to one another in a new kind of Wi-Fi network
Wi-Fi devices will soon be able to
connect in a new way that makes it more simple and convenient than ever
to do things like print, share and display. The Wi-Fi Alliance is
nearing completion of a new specification to enable Wi-Fi devices to
connect to one another without joining a traditional home, office, or
hotspot network. The Wi-Fi Alliance expects to begin certification for
this new specification in mid-2010, and products which achieve the
certification will be designated Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Direct.
The specification, previously code-named "Wi-Fi peer-to-peer," can be
implemented in any Wi-Fi device, from mobile phones, cameras, printers,
and notebook computers, to human interface devices such as keyboards
and headphones. Significantly, devices that have been certified to the
new specification will also be able to create connections with hundreds
of millions of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED legacy devices already in use. Devices
will be able to make a one-to-one connection, or a group of several
devices can connect simultaneously.
"Wi-Fi Direct represents a leap forward for our industry. Wi-Fi users
worldwide will benefit from a single-technology solution to transfer
content and share applications quickly and easily among devices, even
when a Wi-Fi access point isn’t available," said Wi-Fi Alliance
executive director Edgar Figueroa. "The impact is that Wi-Fi will
become even more pervasive and useful for consumers and across the
The specification targets both consumer electronics and enterprise
applications, provides management features for enterprise environments,
and includes WPA2® security. Devices that support the specification
will be able to discover one another and advertise available services.
Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Direct devices will support typical Wi-Fi ranges
and the same data rates as can be achieved with an infrastructure
connection, so devices can connect from across a home or office and
conduct bandwidth-hungry tasks with ease.
"With Wi-Fi technology already shipping in millions of consumer
electronics devices and handsets every year, this is a terrific
innovation for the industry," said Victoria Fodale, senior analyst and
market intelligence manager at In-Stat. "Empowering devices to move
content and share applications without having to join a network brings
even more convenience and utility to Wi-Fi-enabled devices."
The Wi-Fi Alliance plans to publish its peer-to-peer specification upon
completion, and will begin certifying devices for the Wi-Fi Direct
designation in 2010. Only Wi-Fi Alliance member companies will be able
to certify devices to the new specification.