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Networking Portables Wireless Networking

Wi-Fi Direct Overlaps Bluetooth Territory For Connecting Devices 152

Posted by timothy
from the wait-till-it-happens dept.
Reber Is Reber writes "The Wi-Fi Alliance announced a new wireless networking specification which will enable devices to establish simple peer-to-peer wireless connections without the need for a wireless router or hotspot. Wi-Fi Direct has a wide array of potential uses, many of which encroach on Bluetooth territory and threaten to make the competing wireless protocol obsolete. '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 enterprise.' Ad hoc wireless networking has always been more complex and cumbersome than it is worth, and it maxes out at 11 mbps. Wi-Fi Direct will connect at existing Wi-Fi speeds-- up to 250 mbps. Wi-Fi Direct devices will also be able to broadcast their availability and seek out other Wi-Fi Direct devices. Wi-Fi Direct overlaps into Bluetooth territory. Bluetooth is a virtually ubiquitous technology used for wireless connection of devices like headphones, mice, or the ever-popular Bluetooth earpiece sticking out of everyone's head. Bluetooth uses less power, but also has a much shorter range and slower transfer speeds. Wi-Fi Direct can enable the same device connectivity as Bluetooth, but at ranges and speeds equivalent to what users experience with existing Wi-Fi connections."
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Wi-Fi Direct Overlaps Bluetooth Territory For Connecting Devices

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  • But I think it will be a while, at least for the phones. Just about all cell phones have bluetooth, but I have yet to see one besides the iPhone with wifi.

    Also, with phones, bluetooth makes a bit more sense to me, as it seems that (I could be wrong) bluetooth would use less power than wifi, why else its more limited range?

    What excites me about this is something I've thought about for a while and mentioned once or twice here -- peer to peer telephony. If it got big enough we could put the cell companies out

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      peer to peer telephony. If it got big enough we could put the cell companies out of business.

      <whisper>shut up!<whisper>

      • Only for very large values of "improved battery performance". Battery powered (i.e., mobile) mesh networks aren't going to replace the current grid this side of Dilithium crystals.
        • by idontgno (624372)

          ...this side of Dilithium crystals.

          Wow. And you thought Li-Ion battery fires were bad. Wait until your iPhone 7GSqqX-aleph gets an antimatter containment failure.

        • Sounds like a good application for something like this [slashdot.org]. An always-on RF transponder would be an excellent case for the sort of steady power draw that nuclear batteries are good at providing.
    • Re:Sounds good (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SydShamino (547793) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @01:39PM (#29759767)

      Also, with phones, bluetooth makes a bit more sense to me

      Indeed. I don't need to use my car's mic/speaker system with my cell phone while the phone is 50 to 100 feet (or more) from the car, but I do want to squeeze as long of life out of my cell phone's battery as I can.

      The same applies to my laptop's mouse, or my Wiimotes, or indeed anything else that I have that currently uses Bluetooth.

      Mesh WiFi sounds good if it means I can leech WiFi off generous people acting as mobile bridges to their cell provider's unlimited data plan. But in terms of revolutionizing devices, it doesn't.

      • In related news... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mrops (927562) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:10PM (#29761677)

        ...as we speak, we have Pre-Wi-Fi Direct hardware available.

        In the coming years you can expect
        Draft-WiFi Direct
        Final Draft-Wifi Direct
        and eventually Wifi-Direct hardware from manufacturers

      • Not to mention, I don't want a high power radio device right next to my head.

        Bluetooth is one thing, but have you seen how hot some of those Wifi chipsets/antennas get? Now imagine all that stuff being blasted through your head. If you believe any of the cancer claims, stick with lower output wireless like Bluetooth.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by loftwyr (36717)
      There are lots of phones with WiFi and many more that can get it though third pary add-ons. The iPhone was hardly the leader in that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by spxero (782496)

        No, they weren't the leader, but they sure as hell simplified it- I used two Windows Mobile phones (AT&T Tilt for personal, Sprint Mogul for work) for quite a while, and the wifi was always buggy or a pain to configure (one work network is static devices only, which is a lot of settings changes in WinMo5/6). With my iphone, I get to create per-network IP settings, something that Windows has yet to accomplish without third-party tools.

        And my iphone is unlocked and using bossprefs. The the wifi toggle (an

    • ...peer to peer telephony. If it got big enough we could put the cell companies out of business.

      I've thought about this too, and it's REALLY cool idea, but I'm not sure if it would work. Even with the internet, not every user's computer is also a server or switch. Phones add the complication of intermittent connections and limited battery power.

      Could a mesh network of cell phones function independent of towers? Does anybody who has more knowledge of networking than I do want to chime in?

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        What if everyone had a plug-in box in their house to act as a peer?

      • by pla (258480)
        Could a mesh network of cell phones function independent of towers? Does anybody who has more knowledge of networking than I do want to chime in?

        One word - Latency.

        Good quality voice communication has fairly low bandwidth requirements, but very tight latency limits. Above 20ms, you start to notice the lag. Above 50ms, it gets rather annoying. Beyond 150ms, you wouldn't want to use it for anything but absolute emergencies.

        Not to mention, you would have the same problem with finding peers that you d
        • by emj (15659)
          It takes ~110ms for my voip packets to reach South America, and I've not noticed much of a problem. Sure you get a bad connection sometimes but I've always blamed that on jitter/congestion. Are you sure those values are correct?
          • by WCguru42 (1268530)

            It takes ~110ms for my voip packets to reach South America, and I've not noticed much of a problem. Sure you get a bad connection sometimes but I've always blamed that on jitter/congestion. Are you sure those values are correct?

            Obviously your threshold for good, annoying and unbearable are different than PLA's. Eventually latency gets to a point where there are pauses in conversation long enough that most people would not use it. The gp post seems to set reasonable limits (as best as a layman can tell) for most of society when concerned with local communications. A different set of standards is probably acceptable to most people for long distance communication.

        • Good quality voice communication has fairly low bandwidth requirements, but very tight latency limits. Above 20ms, you start to notice the lag. Above 50ms, it gets rather annoying. Beyond 150ms, you wouldn't want to use it for anything but absolute emergencies.

          Indeed. Many years ago, when I did telephony testing work at Bell Labs, the upper bound on round-trip delay was about 250 ms. That's about the point where people begin "interpreting" the delay in emotional terms. One common form of that was business

    • by LanMan04 (790429)

      But I think it will be a while, at least for the phones. Just about all cell phones have bluetooth, but I have yet to see one besides the iPhone with wifi.

      Err, there are a ton of smartphones with wifi...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by whoever57 (658626)

      But I think it will be a while, at least for the phones. Just about all cell phones have bluetooth, but I have yet to see one besides the iPhone with wifi.

      Then you haven't been looking. T-Mobile offers a Wifi UMA service (Hotspot or whatever they are calling it this week). There are a few blackberries, Nokia and Samsung phones that support this. However, this is traditional WiFi, not any kind of peer-to-peer capability and battery life with the WiFi radio turned on is about half without WiFi.

    • by rickb928 (945187)

      Let's pile on here.

      My wife's Curve has WiFi, but doesn't make calls on it.

      My G1 ditto.

      It would be interesting to do P2P, especially when she asks again how to put 'music on her phone'.

      And for you pirate-baiters, it's HER music. Written, produced, and performed by her.

    • by iamhassi (659463)
      "Just about all cell phones have bluetooth, but I have yet to see one besides the iPhone with wifi."

      are [google.com]
      you [google.com]
      kidding? [google.com]

      Just about every smartphone that exists offers a version with built-in wifi, but the fact that a /. reader thought the iPhone is the only cell phone with wifi just means Apple Marketing is doing a helluva good job.
      • To be fair, it is possible that the Gentle Slashdot Reader may just live in a region relatively devoid of high tech gear. Perhaps the iPhone really is the only cell phone he's seen that has wifi.
        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Perhaps the iPhone really is the only cell phone he's seen that has wifi.

          Actually, it is. I don't pay attention to phones; I only need one, and I have one. I only knew the iPhone had wifi because someone I know with an iPhone was bragging about it.

      • by steve_bryan (2671)

        Were those phones available more than two years ago? That is when the first iPhones and iPod touches became available and loudly proclaimed their wifi capability. Even now almost all the public wifi use is by Apple products including MacBooks, iPhones, and iPod touches according to reports that have been published. It hardly seems appropriate that the original poster be pilloried or that Apple marketing be ascribed some magical power to cloud the minds of the masses.

        • My current phone is a Nokia N80, which I picked up cheaply because I wanted a phone with WiFi and SIP support so that I could make cheap calls from it when I am near an access point (e.g. at home). According to Wikipedia, it launched in April 2006. The original iPhone launched in June 2007. The N80 was not the first Nokia phone to have WiFi.
          • by steve_bryan (2671)

            Thanks for the data point. As I noted in another post I also use wifi for access to Skype with the iPod touch. I pay $3 per month for unlimited call access to everywhere that matters for me. I also have a free dial in using my Google Voice number but explaining that would take too much space and effort. A Google search would supply details involving Gizmo5 and an SIP number. The current 8GB iPod touch has this capability for $200 but it only became available quite recently.

        • by smoker2 (750216)
          Well I've had my HTC since 2006 and that has Wifi. It also has HSDPA and GPS. I also get to choose who I connect through and nobody tries to brick it with updates. It's rare I use the wifi though as having HSDPA makes it plenty quick enough, and uses less power. So all those reports could be true. Conspicuous usage is a condition I associate with apple users.
          • by steve_bryan (2671)

            Do you have unlimited data plan for using HSDPA or are there extra charges per megabyte? For people who face a running meter when connected free wifi can be very enjoyable. Does the HTC have a useful web browser and other apps that encourage the use of the internet? I have an iPod touch and obviously only use wifi for internet connectivity. I use Skype for making calls but it is not useful for receiving calls. But that makes it only $3 per month rather than what AT&T would charge for using an iPhone. Go

        • There were any number of phones with wifi two years ago. Obviously those weren't the usual budget devices you saw every day, though none of them were nearly as expensive as the iPhone. The big rush of phones was around the time that Apple released their phone. My current and my previous Nokia phone both have wifi, both of them were less than 250 EUR without a contract.

          • by steve_bryan (2671)

            Do you use wifi and the internet (beyond email) with your phone? I don't have an iPhone because I don't want to have anything to do with AT&T and the price of the service seems way too high. I do have an iPod touch and use it with wifi and have been surprised how often it is actually a better experience than using my MacBook because of the form factor. For example using the Kindle app it is quite good for reading and with wifi delivery of titles and samples is an easily handled impulse. I think the bigg

    • by iamhassi (659463)
      "What excites me about this is something I've thought about for a while and mentioned once or twice here -- peer to peer telephony. If it got big enough we could put the cell companies out of business."

      do you even know what you're talking about? After the "iPhone only cell phone with wifi" comment I'm starting to wonder if you didn't just buy your low 5-digit slashdot account.

      You might be able to call someone in the other room with peer to peer, but exactly how would this work across the country when
  • by Zarhan (415465) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @01:34PM (#29759685)

    Unless they come up with feature equivalent to the tons of profiles [wikipedia.org] that Bluetooth has, I doubt it'll catch on. The nice thing is not the physical link, it's the fact that I can grab any headset and connect it with any phone. I recently bought a new car that has bluetooth-supporting radio, I can pair my Nokia phone with it, and so can my friend with his Samsung phone. The thing can also import names to the hands-free operated phonebook using the SIM access profile.

    Of course, if they'll just use the profiles part of bluetooth spec and change the physical radio interface to 802.11...well, I guess you could do that, but what's the point?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Yokaze (70883)

      > Of course, if they'll just use the profiles part of bluetooth spec and change the physical radio interface to 802.11...well, I guess you could do that, but what's the point?

      The Bluetooth SIG already coopted WiFi as an alternate media Here you go [wikipedia.org]. The point is, you get the bandwidth of WiFi for free.

    • by plover (150551) *

      While I really like the profiles and the interoperability, the more devices that you get in your "circle of stuff" the harder it is to have all your devices continue to default to doing the "right thing".

      With one phone, one headset, one computer, one handheld, it's pretty simple. With multiple phones sharing a single hands-free provider (as might be the case of a car Bluetooth system), or multiple computers that might share other components (networking, A2DP headsets) it's harder for it to continue to do t

      • by natehoy (1608657)

        Probably "none of the above", except that any WiFi-capable unit could talk to any other WiFi-capable unit. So if I want to talk on my car stereo or my small headset today, I need my phone to have Bluetooth, but if I want to copy data from my phone to my computer or vice-versa, I need my phone to have WiFi (*).

        If this comes true, then all of my devices use WiFi and I don't need different radios for different purposes. My phone, desktop, car stereo, laptop, headset, keyboard, mouse, etc all use WiFi. If I

        • by plover (150551) *

          Sure, that makes sense.

          But the complexity could be managed, or even used. Perhaps with a more capable set of devices I could create "context aware profiles." When I'm home, maybe I want the phone functions to ring the house cordless extensions for my family phone list and the phone's audio stream to go to the stereo, unless the TV is on. It might be difficult or complex to set up, but I could do the configuration on a browser through some clever UI, and tell it to store my wi-fi profile rules on the "me"

    • The nice thing is not the physical link, it's the fact that I can grab any headset and connect it with any phone.

      So I'm guessing you've never actually used bluetooth devices?

      I've used bluetooth on many different devices. Phones, PCs, cars, ect. I can only think of ONE time that bluetooth has 'just worked'. And by just worked I mean it paired off the start and worked the first time. Second use it just didn't.

      I'm not sure what devices you are using, but in my experience bluetooth is a buggy unfriendly use

      • Yeah, that's what I thought too. Since more and more devices use both BT and WiFi, why have to power two RF transmitters and associated electronics. BT is a very poor serial link which is only marginally compatible across a wide range of devices. The trick with subbing in WiFi is to get good, power efficient profiles which allows much lower Tx/Rx power for close sources, modulating upwards for weaker connections.

        Not to mention that high quality stereo over a multi-Mb connection is going to be much better

      • Maybe you're using really crappy devices? My phone (N80) talks quite happily to:
        1. My laptop (MacBook Pro, but it also works with my old PowerBook) for providing dial-up access and syncing contacts. Oh, and both Object Exchange (for quickly sending objects from the phone to the computer) and the File Transfer Profile (for browsing the phone from the computer) work nicely too.
        2. My ThinkOutside Bluetooth folding keyboard.
        3. My Nokia 770 (providing Internet access).
        4. My no-brand earpiece.

        My laptop can also talk

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tweenk (1274968)

      Very true. Similarly, the success of USB is not in using the same plug for everything but in standard device interfaces. You can grab any USB HID device and it will work everywhere, because one can write an unified driver for all current and future USB HID devices. Same for USB mass storage, audio, etc.

    • I recently bought a new car that has bluetooth-supporting radio, I can pair my Nokia phone with it, and so can my friend with his Samsung phone. The thing can also import names to the hands-free operated phonebook using the SIM access profile.

      Yeah, this has been trickling down through the car market for a few years. My 2005 can do the pairing and the phonebook, and with the car's voice command system I can just push a button then say "Call Home" or "Call Victor" or "Call CowboyNeal" and it finds and dials the number.

  • Security (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @01:34PM (#29759695) Journal

    Wi-Fi Direct will include support for WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) and AES encryption for more secure connections and measures are being developed to enable IT admins to exert some control over Wi-Fi Direct networks within their environment.

    Please don't "include support"
    You're writing the spec, REQUIRE THAT IT BE USED.

    We're in the 21st century, security should no longer be an after thought.

    • -1 Paranoid (Score:5, Funny)

      by starglider29a (719559) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @01:55PM (#29759999)
      What, am I to worry if someone takes over my keyboard? How likely is thALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO USat to happen?
    • by mpoulton (689851)

      Please don't "include support" You're writing the spec, REQUIRE THAT IT BE USED.

      We're in the 21st century, security should no longer be an after thought.

      What if I don't want to encrypt something? You think I should be required to, even if there's absolutely no reason to do it in a particular application? Encryption is simply not required in every context. Recall that, until the last decade or so, most wireless voice systems used plain analog radios which could be received with common equipment - and it rarely caused problems. I'll choose whether to encrypt, thank you very much.

      • If the encryption is seamless (the way it is with modern cell phones), then there's no good reason not to do it.
        • by profplump (309017)

          But all such systems require a trusted third-party or pre-shared secrets to establish trusted authentication in the first place. Encryption not seamless and zero-configuration on your phone, it's just pre-configured before you get it.

          • by tibman (623933)

            I thought public-key cryptography largely solved the whole pre-shared secrets thing? Third parties can sign the public key saying "yes, this person is actually who they say they are" but that doesn't improve the security of the data.

            I don't know much about encryption on phones : /

          • That's like saying a cell phone isn't an off-the-shelf part because, before you get it, someone has to build the PCB, install the components and the shell, test it, package it in a box, and put it on a shelf for you.

            It doesn't matter what happens in the factory if the product in the hands of the consumer is zero configuration.

        • What you are doing is making excuses for the special interests. I use a wireless router on my home network and ANYONE ELSE in the area is free to use it as well. For me having an open hotspot is a political statement as much as it is a matter of utility - what you are saying is I no longer should have that right. Well, you wouldn't be the first - the various **AAs have voiced the same views as well as the governemnt for all sorts of reasons.

          Fuck all y'all: I use encryption on MY devices, what others use is

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        What if I don't want to encrypt something? You think I should be required to, even if there's absolutely no reason to do it in a particular application? Encryption is simply not required in every context.

        Then don't encrypt it.
        I'm saying that encryption needs to be the default option. Opt-out, not opt-in.

        Ubiquitous wireless is the future and that future is going to leak like a sieve unless encryption also becomes ubiquitous.
        I don't particularly care if encryption is seamless or programming-the-vcr hard, it eventually has to be done.

  • by Sandbags (964742) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @01:38PM (#29759753) Journal

    "Bluetooth uses less power" Well, yes and no.

    At full transmit power, yea, by a lot. Dial back the dB of the anteanna, and you can make WiFi would for very similar, and possibly less power draw.

    If an intelligent WiFi driver is added, power use could by dytnamic, scaling up and down based on range and interference, for the direct connect devices. A multi radio device could potentially use 2 anteanna, one for short range and 1 for traditional AP connections, simultaneously, and might have a quite reasonable power draw compared to using both WiFi and bluetooth concurrently.

    Since it has yet to be released in such a fashion, we don;t really have any good data on the energy draw.

    A simple P2P only connection, without WiFi otherwise active, yea, bluetooth is probably going to use less power. How many of us have WiFi enabled devices where the WiFi is not left on 24x7 when the device is on regardless of the connectivity, so one could easily argue that WiFi P2P has 0 additional power draw, and simply turning bluetooth on would draw more power.

    I can turn off WiFi on the iPhone, but it's a pain to have to do so all the time. It's worse on most other devices... With WiFi on 24x7, my phone outlasts my use needs each day. turning off bluetooth (which i did recently when I cruched a headset and had to wait a few weeks to get a new one) improved the battery life dramatically.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by autocracy (192714)
      The antenna isn't what determines the amount of power used to transmit. A suited antenna can make a transmitter more efficient; alternately, it can be so badly tuned that the transmitter fries because most of the energy is reflected back. My handheld amateur radio can transmit on 2 meters at .05, 1, 2.5 or 5 watts. Regardless of power used, unless the load is so big it would melt the antenna, the same antenna is optimal regardless of the power input. I know my Linksys access point could have its settings ch
      • by Sandbags (964742)

        You're right, the anteanna is not the power draw, the chip and signal strength is. Either way, on my AP, i can dial back the gain and accordingly shorten the transmit range, and the device does draw less power doing so. Our business class HP/procurve APs can do this on the fly via centrally monitored systems in order to provide for signal crossover balancing, to limit chanel interference, and to also boost signal to extend range if another AP goes offline.

        Having 2 anteanna and a dual radio device would si

        • by svirre (39068)

          Realize that a RF poweramp will only have peak efficiency for some specific limited range of output power settings. If you make a device that is capable of 20dBm output, there is no way the same device will be efficient at 0dBm.

          What type of radio which is most energy efficient depends a lot on the application. If you expect to turn on the radio, do a large bulk transfer, then shut off again indefinetly, wifi is great, offering very low energy expenditure pr. bit. If you on the other hand want to have a stan

          • by Agripa (139780)

            Realize that a RF poweramp will only have peak efficiency for some specific limited range of output power settings. If you make a device that is capable of 20dBm output, there is no way the same device will be efficient at 0dBm.

            It is relatively common now where high efficiency over a large transmit power range is needed for the supply voltage of the power amplifier to be adjusted for a given transmit power. This is also often done in combination with various techniques for increasing linearity.

            Disabling th

      • by Nethead (1563)

        What is this "optimal" HT antenna you speak of?

        73, w7com

        • by autocracy (192714)
          The theoretical optimal :)

          I would have been better to word that as, "An antenna is almost always, and effectively so for purposes of discussion, equally optimal in efficiency for any power amount that it is not above the maximum acceptable power input."

          73, kb1pnb
          • by Nethead (1563)

            Yes Jeff, that's much better than describing a 50ohm rubber resistor. The best I've found is a 17"ish bit of piano wire coated in pvc. Makes a nice dual band HT antenna that you can wrap in a loop for storage and belt-clip use.

            73, Joe

    • On behalf of the zombie coaltion, I'm going to ask you to discontinue your suggestions that transmit power of your microwave devices be turned down. Currently, the power emitted is sufficient to get your brains to just the right consistency and temperature to provide a perfect snack. That will not be the case with lower-power devices, and I, for instance, simply don't think that anyone can appreciate a cold brain.

    • All of our bluetooth headsetsand mice seem to work as long as we stay in range. My wireless signal occasionally falls apart even though my laptop is about 3 feet from the router. My sister's Wi-Fi goes out anytime they use their cordless home phone. So from my perspective, I think they need to work on making Wi-Fi as reliable as Bluetooth before trying to replace Bluetooth.
  • by jeffmeden (135043) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @01:58PM (#29760041) Homepage Journal

    What about the difference between Wi-Fi being DSSS (direct sequencing spread spectrum, meaning it uses one fixed slice of the spectrum) vs Bluetooth's FHSS (frequency hopping spread spectrum, meaning it hops around the spectrum in a pseudorandom way such that multiple bluetooth devices will never interfere with each other)? Unless the new Wi-Fi standard includes something smarter than "default to channel 6" these devices will not be as friendly to each other as Bluetooth.

    • What if they sniff the channels first and pick the least crowded one? My wifi router (Tomato) already does this.
      • by jeffmeden (135043)

        It still means a relatively small (11 channels in the US) amount to choose from compared to bluetooth's 79 slices. With few devices, there isn't a problem, but why even bother with it if it can't work in a crowded business meeting where a dozen people each have their phone out, tethered to their laptop, earpiece paired to their phone, mouse tethered to their laptop, wi-fi trying to push a video stream to a projector, etc.

  • There are zero technical details. It's difficult to even know what this standard includes. Zeroconf maybe? Maybe not?

    All of the articles contain the same information from the press release. I've contacted several of the magazine authors, and none of them know anything either. Not that that stopped them from telling everyone about how great whatever-it-is is going to be.

  • up to 250 mbps? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 15, 2009 @02:03PM (#29760119)

    250 mbps = 250 millibits per second. That's slow.

    • I'd mod myself, but I don't have points. "Informative" would be what you're looking for.

    • I'm sure that's megabit, not millibit.

      1 millibit = 1 thousandths of a bit (0.001).

      • Yes, of course.

        Unfortunately, the correct symbol for the mega prefix is M, not m. It's a 250Mbps connection, not 250mbps.

  • The point of Bluetooth is not to transfer gigabytes of data. The point of bluetooth is to be able to connect a headset to a cell phone while barely lowering the battery life. The point of bluetooth is to be able to have wireless headphones that can run on a small battery. Wifi direct will be great for printers and the like, but Bluetooth is not going anywhere.

    • by iamhassi (659463)
      "Wifi direct will be great for printers and the like...."

      ....and cameras and camcorders: imagine a endless storage 1080i HDTV camcorder. That dinky 60gb built-in hard drive full after 6 hrs? No problem: with Wi-Fi Direct just fire up your laptop and stream the video straight to your multi-terabyte hard drive for hundreds of hours of full HD video bliss. Done taking photos of little timmy's b-day? Photos transferred straight to your PC already without a special expensive SD card like eye-fi [www.eye.fi]. You ca
      • How long does the battery last on your wi-fi enabled HD video camera?

        If you have to be tethered to the wall anyway, doesn't it make more sense to use wired networking anyway?

  • A speed of 250 mbps is not going to cut it. They need speeds measured in Mbps if it is going to be a success.
  • GREAT! I'm so sick of dealing with shitty bluetooth stacks that don't work reliably. Doesn't seem to matter where the stack is or what it pairs too, the whole system is a horrible buggy pile of partially interoperable shit.

    Bluetooth needs to die an incredible fast death.

  • If they want to improve on Bluetooth then switch it off the busy 2450 MHz ISM Band [wikipedia.org] to the practically unused 5150 to 5250 MHz U-NII Low Band [wikipedia.org]

    Otherwise, we don't need *another* physical layer spec for the service we already have.
  • You have two computers right next to each other. You want to get a file from one to other... good luck with that. For some totally inexplicable reason, this common situation presents us with a problem that's never been adequately solved. I've seen people sitting next to each other with laptops log on to their webmail accounts to send a file. Only to find that they can't, because the file is too large. Etc.

    Let's review your options:

    USB's architecture means two hosts can't talk to each other.

    Firewire isn't co

    • What we need is something that's more than just a TCP/IP connection... something that automatically discovers the devices around you and gives you the option to easily send them a file.

      That is what Zeroconf is for.

      Anyone can use it, it's an open standard.

      Two mac users on the same WiFi network don't need to find addresses or do anything wonky. They look for the other guys share, who has dragged a file into the public folder of the easily readable system name. Then they copy it.

      If you have no WiFi, one guy

  • Bluetooth doesn't just ship data. It also forwards the network's 8 kHz clock, which is used for digitizing audio and keeping it synchronized with the (pre-IP) telephone network's digital transport and the far-end D-to-A converters which turn the samples back into audio. This simplifies handsets and avoids "frame-slip" clicking and other audio artifacts from timing irregularities.

    Does this new WiFi-variant include a network clock distribution? Or does it fall back on some of the other, more crunch-intensi

  • I herd you like wireless, so we put bluetoof in your wifi so ur gadgets can talk while u talk.

  • Having been involved with certifying portable electronics for both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi standards, let me say that anything that kills off Bluetooth is alright with me. That's the most bizarre, obtuse standard it's ever been my displeasure to work with.

    The folks at the Bluetooth SIG are nice enough to deal with, but their standard is ridiculously over-the-top. It's thousands of pages, and almost everything in it is optional. If I was looking for a case study in how not to develop a standard for interoperabil

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