Wi-Fi Making a Leap Forward

 
 
By Roy Mark  |  Posted 2009-10-14
 
 
 

The Wi-Fi Alliance is nearing completion of a new specification to allow 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 the new specification in mid-2010 and is currently called Wi-Fi Direct. In its early stages of development it was known as Wi-Fi Peer-to-Peer.

The new specification can be implemented in any Wi-Fi device, including mobile phones, cameras, printers, notebook computers, keyboards and headphones. Certified devices will also be able to create connections with 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.

The new specification targets both consumer electronics and enterprise applications, providing management features for enterprise environments and includes WPA2 security. 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.

"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," Wi-Fi Alliance Executive Director Edgar Figueroa said in a statement. "The impact is that Wi-Fi will become even more pervasive and useful for consumers and across the enterprise."

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.

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