Wi-Fi Alliance Approves Wi-Fi Direct Page: 1

A new Wi-Fi specification has gone live today with the endorsement of the Wi-Fi Alliance. Dubbed Wi-Fi Direct, it allows Wi-Fi enabled devices to connect directly to each other without the need for a Wi-Fi hotspot.

With the new specification in place, devices will find it easier to share data such as files, images, videos and a lot more by directly connecting to each other. Wi-Fi direct would of course require some changes in existing systems, and the alliance has already made arrangements for this by certifying products from five chipset manufacturers. These include Atheros, Broadcom, Intel, Ralink, and Realtek.

While it might seem a task getting new hardware just to be able to use Wi-Fi Direct, the good news is that not all devices need to be upgraded. Any one Wi-Fi Direct enabled device can act as a host, allowing other Wi-Fi enabled devices to connect with it and exchange data. The best part is that Wi-Fi Direct is not actually new hardware, but a software program that upgrades your existing device to make it Wi-Fi Direct ready.

Security too has been taken into account by the alliance where Wi-Fi Direct is concerned. WPA2 authentication and encryption protocols have been made mandatory for any and all devices that attempt to connect using Wi-Fi Direct.

Talking about the new specification, Edgar Figueroa, CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance said, "We designed Wi-Fi Direct to unleash a wide variety of applications which require device connections, but do not need the internet or even a traditional network. Wi-Fi Direct empowers users to connect devices – when, where and how they want to, and our certification program delivers products that work well together, regardless of the brand.”

The alliance is hopeful that down the line, Wi-Fi Direct will become available as a simple software download that be directly installed on a device. Once that becomes possible, all existing devices can easily be upgraded to Wi-Fi direct. If everything works out, Wi-Fi Direct might even become one of the best means of sharing internet connectivity between computers without the need for cables.

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