Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wi-Fi Direct to replace Bluetooth?

Seems like right after the 802.11N specifications, the Wi-Fi guys are going for peer-to-peer connectivity. In summary, Wi-Fi direct will turn your device into a mini Wi-Fi access points that will allow the device to connect to one or multiple devices at one go.

Sounds familiar? That's what Bluetooth is doing. The only problem with Bluetooth is that the range is restricted to 10m while Wi-Fi direct suppose to support up to 100m.

Will this Wi-Fi Direct replace Bluetooth? Not likely because I have a feeling that the Wi-Fi chip is much bigger than the Bluetooth chip. For small devices, Bluetooth might still be a much better choice. Moreover, I think Bluetooth uses less energy than Wi-Fi so the battery will last longer. To those devices where battery life is a concern, Bluetooth will be a much better choice.

Will Wi-Fi Direct be of any use? I could only think of it being used in the corporate/student setting. It does aid quite a bit in transferring files between 2 laptops instead of using thumbdrives or portable harddisks. It may also be good for streaming applications like audios and videos. Of course we cannot forget about LAN gaming. This specification may make a lot of multiplayer gamers quite happy. That's all I can think of off my head. :)

Surprisingly, the Wi-Fi Direct specifications will be ready by 2010. That's fast considering how long it took for 802.11N to be ready. Wait and see if they can keep that promise. :)

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