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Networking Portables Wireless Networking

Wi-Fi Direct Overlaps Bluetooth Territory For Connecting Devices 152

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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  • 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?

  • by natehoy ( 1608657 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @02:57PM (#29760805) Journal

    A bluetooth headset is only going to need the lower-powered antenna, unless you want to increase its range. I think the OP was talking about the PHONE carrying (possibly) two transmitters - one to "replace" Bluetooth for very-short-range transmissions and one to be WiFi.

    But you really wouldn't need that - you could simply have a WiFi radio that talks quietly when it's connected to some kind of local device, and more loudly only when it needs to reach a distant access point or something. The radio can always have a sensitive antenna to listen, because that will allow it to hear close/weak devices (headsets) as well as distant/strong ones (WiFi access points).

    If anything, this would probably end up saving power, assuming you are interested in having WiFi on your phone, because you don't have to support a WiFi *and* a Bluetooth radio. Just WiFi, and it'll only pull heavy duty power when you want to use it to connect to a distant access point.

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