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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

'Wi-Fi Direct': New Standard and competition to Femtocells and Bluetooth


Last month when I blogged about WiFi as 4G, i got mixed reactions. Some suggesting that WiFi is just a filler till Femtocells become prevalent and others suggested that in future all devices would with 3G/HSPA/LTE/4G enabled so there may be no need for WiFi.

Well, yesterday I read about the new Wi-Fi Direct (formerly known as 'Wi-Fi Peer-to-Peer') standard that is supposed to make WiFi devices easier to operate with other WiFi devices. I havent explored the security options but I am sure they are well thought out.

Before we go further, you may want to check out the WiFi Direct official video below:



There is an interesting piece in PC World that compares Bluetooth 4.0 with Wi-Fi Direct. I am sure soon both these camps would be listing the merit of their standards and dissing the other one. According to the Register, Bluetooth never really took off in the US. They think Wi-Fi has bigger clout and this would translate to WiFi Direct success.

WiFi Alliance has a recently revised FAQ on Wi-Fi Direct here. Very interesting read. A Media presentation is embedded below and can be downloaded from Slideshare here.

The devices have already started undergoing certification and commercial devices should be available by the end of this year.

Finally, while there is a lot of debate going on about WiFi v/s Femtocells and I respect everyone's views and arguments on this debate, I think Wi-Fi direct may give a kicking to the Femtocell manufacturers where it hurts the most.

One of the strong arguments in the favour of Femtocell is the seamless roaming. With Wi-Fi direct you may be able to seamlessly connect to various Wi-Fi devices and Access points. This certainly counts big time in their favour.

Certainly the gate is still wide open for some Femtocell based killer apps which would turn the tide in their favour but for now I am looking forward to some Wi-Fi direct devices.

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