Wi-Fi Direct to Threaten Bluetooth

Posted by: Olga Kharif on October 25, 2010

You may soon be able to transfer content between Wi-Fi-enabled devices in your home or office without having to set up a Wi-Fi router. On Oct. 25, industry association Wi-Fi Alliance began certifying consumer electronic gadgets that can connect directly to other Wi-Fi devices (http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/oct2009/tc20091013_683659.htm). The technology is, in effect, an alternative to Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

Devices marked with the new Wi-Fi Direct label can connect to older Wi-Fi devices. Mobile phones, cameras, printers, PCs and gaming devices can now connect to each other directly to transfer content and share applications. Devices can make a one-to-one connection, or a group of several devices can connect simultaneously. How this might work: Your Wi-Fi Direct device will signal to other devices in the area that it can make a connection. You can view available devices and ask them to connect, or you might receive an invitation to connect to another Wi-Fi Direct device.

Chipmakers including Intel, Broadcom and Atheros have already announced Wi-Fi Direct products. If Wi-Fi Direct takes off, Bluetooth’s future may be murky.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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