Connects over a greater range and relies on peer-to-peer linkups instead of a WiFi network or router.
Monday marks the start of certification for WiFi Direct devices, which means that in the near future it could become a lot easier to link your digital devices.
WiFi Direct, which is being developed by the WiFi Alliance, uses traditional WiFi technology to connect devices quickly, seamlessly and securely. WiFi Direct has been described as a Bluetooth killer but, while it certainly could replace the need for Bluetooth, it also has many more applications and capabilities than Bluetooth.
WiFi Direct uses standard WiFi technology but its application is very different. First, no existing WiFi network or router is needed; the technology uses peer-to-peer connections.
Also, the process of connecting devices is much simpler than trying to use current tethering or ad hoc networking for laptops and smartphones. It is designed to be as simple to set up as a Bluetooth connection.
WiFi Direct also makes good use of existing WiFi devices. For example, any PC or laptop that already has standard WiFi 802.11x hardware can connect to a WiFi Direct-enabled device. That means that if you bought a WiFi Direct printer this holiday season, it could instantly connect to your PCs and other WiFi-enabled devices.
Also, since it is essentially a full WiFi connection, WiFi Direct devices can connect over a much greater range than Bluetooth and with greater data connection capacities. Also, it gets rid of the need for a device to have both Bluetooth and WiFi hardware, thus cutting down on hardware and power requirements.
I can definitely see a lot of potential uses for WiFi Direct-enabled devices. On the consumer side, it becomes much easier to synchronize content between digital cameras, entertainment devices and PCs within a household. On the business side, especially for road warriors, hooking up to devices at partner sites and hotels becomes a much simpler task.
Of course, there are potential issues. WiFi Direct uses WPA2 to secure the connection, which is fairly secure but not ironclad. Plus, how devices connect to each other and whether there are measures to prevent unwanted persons or devices from connecting to your WiFi Direct devices will be a big issue. After all, you probably don’t want just anyone in the airport to be able to download all the pictures from your vacation from your digital camera.
Still, I’m excited to see devices that use this standard, and, with certification starting, there’s a good chance we’ll see these devices by the holidays. It’s important for both people and devices to stay connected. And WiFi Direct should make these connections easier.
InformationWeek Elite 100Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
The UC Infrastructure TrapWorries about subpar networks tanking unified communications programs could be valid: Thirty-one percent of respondents have rolled capabilities out to less than 10% of users vs. 21% delivering UC to 76% or more. Is low uptake a result of strained infrastructures delivering poor performance?
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial ServicesIT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of September 18, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."