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Wi-Fi Direct Gets Real With Product Certification

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the unleash-the-marketing-hounds dept.

Wireless Networking 78

CWmike writes "Wi-Fi Direct officially became a concrete technology today, with several new laptop components certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance. That threshold was reached before most people even understand what Wi-Fi Direct is, reports Matt Hamblen. Wi-Fi Direct is a new technology designed to allow peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connections between devices like smartphones and cameras without a traditional Wi-Fi network or the need for Wi-Fi access points. This means that a camera with Wi-Fi Direct installed could communicate via Wi-Fi to a digital picture frame or printer, uploading picture data over the same range of existing Wi-Fi, about 200 yards at speeds of up to 250Mbit/sec, said Wi-Fi Alliance CEO Edgar Figueroa. 'Imagine if two people were on a train and wanted to play a game in real time on their separate handhelds but had no cellular or Wi-Fi hot spot. They still could play with Wi-Fi Direct,' he said."

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Bluetooth is gone eh? (0)

Rayeth (1335201) | more than 3 years ago | (#34017702)

I wonder how long it will actually take to phase out bluetooth. I mean, that tech has been around forever and never really caught on outside of phones.

Re:Bluetooth is gone eh? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34017724)

Have you not seen all the bluetooth mice and headsets for computers that are available now..?

bluetooth still has it's applications... low power usage mainly.

Re:Bluetooth is gone eh? (2, Interesting)

Cley Faye (1123605) | more than 3 years ago | (#34018612)

This is very true. I have a bluetooth mouse with the original battery that came with it inside, and it's still working after 2 years of use. Device with low bandwidth and little mobility requirements are very good with bluetooth right now.

Re:Bluetooth is gone eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34021248)

All Bluetooth mice/keyboards I tried kept losing the connection and took seconds to reconnect. Not an option.

Re:Bluetooth is gone eh? (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023550)

Exactly.

I've read several articles on WiFi Direct but have yet to see a single one address power requirements, let alone power requirements compared to Bluetooth. Yet everyone seems to angle the two technologies as competitors.

Almost all of the areas where Bluetooth has wide penetration is exactly because of its power advantages and because its performance is fast enough. If battery like is reduced 50% but you can transfer 1000% faster, does anyone really care? I know I don't. After all, when I need faster transfers, I already have USB, WiFi, and likely a carrier connection. At which point means, the only "benefit" I'm really getting is a horrible loss of battery life and likely more expensive electronics.

Now it may be power is comparable to Bluetooth, but at this time I've not seen anything which even addresses power, which typically means, its a product not even worth consideration. They can get back to me when some details, which actually matter, surface.

Re:Bluetooth is gone eh? (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023710)

They both run at 2.4 Ghz if I am reading the summary correctly. This would mean to get the 200 yd range, more power is being used in the transmitter, which means less battery life. This to me is a no starter, just use bluetooth, it is what it is meant to be used for.

Re:Bluetooth is gone eh? (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34024202)

This would mean to get the 200 yd range

Bluetooth can't even work at those ranges. Just the same, there isn't a reason you can't do adaptive amplification based on signal strength and/or error rate. Which means, technically, they could ran at much lower power levels for much closer ranges. As such, it would be nice to see a graph comparing power, distance, and throughput for the two technologies.

Regardless, I suspect you're right - Bluetooth is likely still king.

Re:Bluetooth is gone eh? (4, Informative)

ceeam (39911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34017918)

Bluetooth 3.0 uses WiFi as the underlying carrier technology.

Re:Bluetooth is gone eh? (2, Funny)

nizo (81281) | more than 3 years ago | (#34018230)

Sniffing of wireless keyboards using WiFi is gonna be even easier than before.

Re:Bluetooth is gone eh? (2, Informative)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34018412)

Only when high speed data is needed, like for file transfers, and only for the radio layer. The protocol is still very much bluetooth.

And bluetooth 4.0 introduced a low power spec, that should allow a compatible device to function for quite some time from a coin style battery (or perhaps even smaller).

Re:Bluetooth is gone eh? (3, Informative)

DesertNomad (885798) | more than 3 years ago | (#34020856)

Actually, Bluetooth 3.0 uses IEEE802.11, not Wi-Fi, as the underlying carrier technology. Wi-Fi is a superset of 802.11 features. Wi-Fi brings broad interoperability, higher level functionality and mandated conformance to established standards. BT 3.0 uses 802.11 as an Alternate MAC/PHY (AMP) layer, has a fixed signaling rate of 24Mbps, and does the "networking" using the BT radio and BT protocols, not Wi-Fi. It is not necessary for a 802.11 radio that is set up to run in BT3.0 mode to be compatible with a standard Wi-Fi access point, as BT3.0 is really supposed to be used to allow higher speed data transfer (about 8x) between two BT3.0-enabled devices, like a cameraphone and a notepad. Wi-Fi Direct is direct competition to BT 3.0, but does it more simply with the one radio, technology and protocol rather than two radios and a mix of protocols that are very different and more costly.

As some of you might remember from way back in 2005, originally the high-speed AMP was going to be Ultrawide Band (UWB), but the BTSIG took a bet on the WiMedia Alliance's MB-OFDM quasi-UWB technology and lost when WiMedia folded its tent in early 2009, after probably a dozen manufacturers had failed to get MB-OFDM silicon to work as promoted.

Bluetooth is not gone, in fact BT Classic (the 2.1 stuff) is in the majority of all cellular handsets sold in the world today, and I think each week something like 20 million BT chips are shipped in product, 90++% of that in cellular handsets and headsets. However, the actual usage of BT is pretty low since most people don't really seem to take to headsets, or if they do use a headset, it's often wired since that eliminates the need to charge two batteries. Like I saw somewhere else, BT seems like the IRDA of the 21st Century, ubiquitous yet little used

That having been said, Since 2004 or so I've been using BT headsets (5-6 models now), multiple BT-enabled phones, even a BT-enabled PDA (remember the old Sony Clie), and am generally satisfied by the convenience and performance. Pairing has gotten way better with 2.1, my phone (BB) only forgets about my headset (Jabra) every second week or three, requiring a repairing effort. But I'm an engineer, and have some tolerance for touchy gadgetry... And no, I'm not a member of either the BTSIG or the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Re:Bluetooth is gone eh? (1)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022654)

Well, no. It uses 3GPP 802.11, not Wi-Fi. And, it only uses that for the physical layers.
Bluetooth wants to be come only the overlaying protocol without caring about the RF layers.

Additionally, Bluetooth tends to have much better power management than Wi-Fi does. Especially when you are talking about BT low energy and advanced power control features.

I don't see Wi-Fi kicking out BT.

Re:Bluetooth is gone eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34027946)

From what I understand, BT3.0 (or was that the upcoming 4.0?) separates the protocol from the hardware, so it can use any 3rd party "physical layer" like wifi to achieve much higher bandwidth when needed, while keeping the BT channel for command and control (and low power usage)

Re:Bluetooth is gone eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34017948)

Bluetooth is good, because it lets me tether my phone and my UMPC all day long -- ad-hoc WiFi knocks off about a third of the battery life on both devices.

The reason it never really caught on outside of phones (and UMPCs, and cordless peripherals) is that the power consumption difference, while very significant in tiny battery-powered devices, becomes negligible on a high-power laptop with a big-ass battery, and doesn't even matter on anything plugged into the wall.

But since this, like WiFi tethering through an ad-hoc network, will suck ass on your battery, I'm pretty sure it won't replace bluetooth for anything with less than ~20 Wh of battery.

Re:Bluetooth is gone eh? (3, Interesting)

Michael Kristopeit 7 (1913322) | more than 3 years ago | (#34018262)

bluetooth is GREAT for remote controls... first of all you don't need line of sight to the receiver, and the latency and responsiveness are at least 5 times as good as IR... i recently got the bluetooth slide remote for tivo and didn't even realize how slow my IR remote was to respond until things started working like they should with bluetooth.

Bluetooth passes network timing natively. (2, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34019062)

I wonder how long it will actually take to phase out bluetooth. I mean, that tech has been around forever and never really caught on outside of phones.

Bluetooth passes the 8KHz network timing natively, by timing its frame rate to the network clock and having built-in provisions for picking a good clocking master. This is very handy for cellphone peripherals because it makes them cheap: The phone provides an accurate and (if appropriate) network-synchronized clock to the the A/D converters in microphones, which only have to synchronize to the frame rate from the phone's bluetooth signal rather than have a stratum-III or better clock built in.

With WiFI any solutions to timing-transfer issues (other than those of the link itself) are add-on kludges.

Re:Bluetooth is gone eh? (1)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023260)

. . . never really caught on outside of phones.

Small example, but how about Wii controllers?

Re:Bluetooth is gone eh? (1)

hufman (1670590) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027422)

Also PS3 controllers, which communicate over the USB charging cable to establish the pairing and then magically work forever.

How is this different than an ad-hoc wireless LAN? (5, Interesting)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34017706)

I've been able to have two Wifi laptops communicate in an ad-hoc network forever, so how is this really different?

Re:How is this different than an ad-hoc wireless L (1)

Jorl17 (1716772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34017730)

It's cool man. It's cool.

No, really, it may have technical differences, but it all boils down to fucktards colonizing the industry that should be for smart people.

Re:How is this different than an ad-hoc wireless L (1)

christianT (604736) | more than 3 years ago | (#34017744)

I second that motion. How is this new and different.

Re:How is this different than an ad-hoc wireless L (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34017796)

Because you didn't have to pay for the privilege of using ad-hoc

Re:How is this different than an ad-hoc wireless L (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34017772)

You didn't even read the summary did you?

Peer-to-peer for "dumb" devices, like of a high power, long range Bluetooth.

Re:How is this different than an ad-hoc wireless L (5, Insightful)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34017878)

then goes on to give an example of 2 people playing a game, which has been done on the psp and the DS for getting close to a decade

its just brand naming ad-hoc and does not show or explain how it is different

Re:How is this different than an ad-hoc wireless L (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34017786)

I've been able to have two Wifi laptops communicate in an ad-hoc network forever, so how is this really different?

Exactly. When I saw "Imagine if two people were on a train and wanted to play a game in real time on their separate handhelds" I thought of Wi-Fi on the Nintendo DS, which in effect turns player 1's machine into an access point.

Re:How is this different than an ad-hoc wireless L (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34017852)

Funny funny - try stealing both devices with your Vegas Valet service.

Re:How is this different than an ad-hoc wireless L (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34018186)

Here's a zdnet [zdnet.com] article that addresses what problems this is supposed to solve over and above ad-hoc WiFi, namely speed, security,and ease of configuration.

Over the weekend I was configuring my thermostat and sprinkler system for Fall, and wishing I could cheaply and easily use a web browser interface instead of the tiny, arcane LCD screens currently used to do this. These interfaces only have a few buttons and it's pretty hard for me to imagine configuring ad-hoc wifi on them. I think the problems solved by Wi-Fi direct, such as agreeing on a WiFi channel and encryption key, are fairly simple, but if they can make it a push-button operation that actually interoperates on a wide variety of devices, I'll be there.

Re:How is this different than an ad-hoc wireless L (3, Informative)

lordcorusa (591938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34018222)

According to Wikipedia, Wi-Fi Direct is ad-hoc mode Wi-Fi device with a built-in Wi-Fi Protected Access setup daemon, optional access point software (e.g., routing to other networks) and an as-yet undefined service discovery mechanism (e.g., UPnP, Bonjour). Basically, they are writing a standard which ties together several existing standards and best practices. This sort of meta-standard is quite common.

One example they give is a picture frame, which offers only the required ad-hoc mode Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Protected Access daemon, and a simple service for file upload. The user would connect to it, upload pictures, and then disconnect. Nothing else would be offered by the frame, but the user would not need to do any manual setup or buy any additional devices.

A more complicated example is a cell phone which offers tethering. In addition to the required ad-hoc mode Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Protected Access daemon, has full blown bridging/routing and service discovery daemons built-in. The user would expect to treat this device more like an infrastructure mode network in a single package; perhaps some setup would be required on the Wi-Fi Direct device, but virtually no additional setup would be required on each connected device.

So basically they are just making a standard, the implementation of which requires doing all of the things we have done manually for our own networks. This is just one step further in simplifying network setup, but not any kind of new revolution.

Re:How is this different than an ad-hoc wireless L (1)

lordcorusa (591938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34018372)

I hate to reply to my own posts, but I just thought of an additional comment to add.

In the example of the picture frame, likely all of the extra Wi-Fi Direct magic will be baked into the firmware.

On the other hand, for devices like laptops, I doubt that they would put this amount of software into firmware. It is likely that the extra components that turn plain Wi-Fi into Wi-Fi Direct will be entirely software that is delivered by a package of drivers and helper programs that are all provided by the OS or via a setup disc. This sort of of all-in-one setup will likely be offered to Windows and Mac users. However, users of independent operating systems, like Linux, will likely not see this, and will likely still have to manually setup these subsystems. Therefore, for Linux users, I imagine that we will see no real difference at all between a plain Wi-Fi chipset and a Wi-Fi Direct chipset.

Re:How is this different than an ad-hoc wireless L (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#34018646)

On the other hand, for devices like laptops, I doubt that they would put this amount of software into firmware. It is likely that the extra components that turn plain Wi-Fi into Wi-Fi Direct will be entirely software that is delivered by a package of drivers and helper programs that are all provided by the OS or via a setup disc. This sort of of all-in-one setup will likely be offered to Windows and Mac users. However, users of independent operating systems, like Linux, will likely not see this, and will likely still have to manually setup these subsystems. Therefore, for Linux users, I imagine that we will see no real difference at all between a plain Wi-Fi chipset and a Wi-Fi Direct chipset.

It would probably be similar to that "one touch secure" thing you see on wireless routers these days. You push a button on the router, another button on your device (or click the button on your laptop) and automagically the router and your laptop are communicating via WPA2 security. Except expanded for more devices (that one-touch setup really is only for PCs to APs - I don't think I've ever seen it implemented elsewehre).

So Linux might get it yet - all it takes is someone to figure out the protocol and how the keys and such are derived. After all, you push two buttons and the SSID and WPA2 keys are exchanged somehow. A Linux implementation would also happen because there's still a number of embedded Linux devices out there (including stuff like TVs) that would benefit from this.

Though still - given the Nintendo DS, Sony PSP and I think even the iPod Touch/iPhones all support wifi ad-hoc gaming (I think the iOS one is via WiFi or Bluetooth)...

Re:How is this different than an ad-hoc wireless L (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 3 years ago | (#34019606)

An interesting extension would be to add service discovery at the WiFi beacon level, so you could see what services were on offer from surrounding devices without connecting to each ad-hoc network. That would be something new, rather than just a standardization of a combination of existing technologies.

Re:How is this different than an ad-hoc wireless L (1)

cthulhu11 (842924) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021060)

Basically, they're doing BonJour?

Re:How is this different than an ad-hoc wireless L (1)

Rysc (136391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34026498)

I can see it now: wardriving for picture frames and uploading goatse to each one.

I, for one, welcome our new WiFi Direct overlords.

Re:How is this different than an ad-hoc wireless L (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34018490)

Ad-hoc/IBSS was never widely adopted by consumers, and is a very connection-centric technology. You create ad-hoc profiles on each participating machine, activate the network, and that's it. Security and services are up to the user- and generally the ability to create ad-hoc networks is relegated to the "advanced" section of most WiFi UIs. WiFi Direct uses WPS so average-Joe users can create and join secure "ad-hoc" networks without really knowing anything about the underlying technologies. It also provides the ability for devices to discover each other based on specific services (device features, like printer, projector, etc) instead of relying on a static SSID or credentials set.

IBSS also has some timing requirements that rule out the possibility of using the host radio for anything other than the IBSS network. WiFi Direct allows for radio multi-purposing, opening up possibilities for wireless devices that I don't want to get into right now.

So it's a similar idea to traditional ad-hoc, but it's much more geared toward novice users and/or WiFi-capable devices with limited (or no) WiFi user interface, and has built-in security without compromising the user experience. To be honest the underlying implementation of WiFi Direct is fantastically complex. It's WAY more advanced than ad-hoc/IBSS... but the whole point of it is to make WiFi networking SEEM simple, so in that regard I feel it's a success.

Re:How is this different than an ad-hoc wireless L (1)

mldi (1598123) | more than 3 years ago | (#34034600)

Don't you just love buzz words that just relabel an existing tech or methodology? Kinda like how everything is about "the cloud" now. Ugh.

Rob Enderle (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34017722)

The article quotes Enderle. It's validity as journalism just got -3 mod points. As Enderle only makes stupid and pointless commentary about wi-fi tethering, it avoids the full -5 mod pomt deduction it could have suffered if the main point of the article was based on something he said.

Re:Rob Enderle (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34018024)

Thanks for the extra warning! I always avoid the *world.com sites like the plague, but Rob is above and beyond a complete numskull in all things tech and probably beyond. Still, good going for him to get such a flashy, almost tech job without any knowledge of the subject matter whatsoever. Cheers!

So.. (2, Insightful)

rainmayun (842754) | more than 3 years ago | (#34017738)

All of the same benefits of Bluetooth, plus the WiFi congestion and interference headaches we already enjoy just to get Internet access???

Where do I sign up???

*rant off*

Re:So.. (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34017880)

Exactly.

Re:So.. (1)

svirre (39068) | more than 3 years ago | (#34018172)

Considering that wifi can use both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz ISM bands, how do you figure there will be more interference issues with wifi than BT (That only use 2.4GHz as of right now)

Re:So.. (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34018452)

Bluetooth use frequency hopping, not fixed channels.

Re:So.. (0, Troll)

lehphyro (1465921) | more than 3 years ago | (#34018910)

Bluetooth just doesn't work. It's was never meant to work and is more complex than it should.

Re:So.. (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34020262)

"Bluetooth just doesn't work."

Tell that to my headphones, headset, mouse, and laser keyboard, all of which work without ANY issue.

And then my phone can sync up using bluetooth as well, flawlessly.

Are you just technically inept?

Re:So.. (2, Informative)

lehphyro (1465921) | more than 3 years ago | (#34020828)

My android phone notifies me about phone calls and sms messages I get on my Windows 7 desktop over bluetooth just fine. Now try this on Ubuntu or Mac and see what happens, nothing. Same app, same protocol, even same implementation (bluez on android and ubuntu)! I wrote the desktop program (http://code.google.com/p/android-notifier/) and we have a lot of people complaining that it doesn't work, the bluetooth stack generates cryptic error messages that does not mean anything because the OS decided to use its underlying socket abstraction to do RFCOMM I/O, errors during I/O are silently ignored, that sort of thing. IBM never implemented support for bluetooth in J9 JVM for my palm zire 72, you know why? Bluetooth is just a mess, it didn't work correctly with Windows XP at the time and alternative implementations like SuperWaba wouldn't implement a bluetooth API, they would expose it as a socket abstraction. We are better off using wifi that is better standardized and focused (just TCP/IP I/O) instead of bluetooth and its profiles, modes of operation, etc.

Re:So.. (0, Flamebait)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021280)

"Bluetooth is just a mess, it didn't work correctly with Windows XP at the time"

Again, tell that to my peripherals, now including a Bluetooth printer. That computer runs XP, because Vista had a GARBAGE implementation. I don't have bluetooth on this 7 laptop so I can't speak for it, but what you state for XP has not been true for the easy 15 or so peripherals I've used.

Blame Canonical and Apple for not following the Bluetooth standard properly.

Re:So.. (1)

lehphyro (1465921) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023192)

Blame Canonical and Apple for not following the Bluetooth standard properly.

Now you get my point, they are not able to implement the standard properly because the standard is so complex. That's the root of the problem and that's why wifi is better.

Re:So.. (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048530)

Oh, look, the person I was talking with AGREES with me, and yet I get modded as flamebait.

Linux mods have a vendetta, I see, without any rational defense. That's the *ONLY* reason I'm being downmodded without a response. Proven fact given how anti-social the Linux community is in reality.

This is why Linux will never see the day of the desktop, let alone ever get out of the server market.

You assholes are assholes.

Re:So.. (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 3 years ago | (#34020720)

It was never meant to work? Are you claiming that they designed it with the intent to fail?

zomg they invented bluetooth (2, Funny)

DavoMan (759653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34017776)

this is so amazing. now i can not communicate with anybody else on a train because they would have to pay for the same game & it cant be copied from phone phone to the next, and their operating system is different, and i cant show them how to get the game because their phones GUI is different.. its like.. bluetooth!

like bluetooth ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34021122)

you mean that in the US, it will be completely crippled and used only for headsets because the manufacturer fear getting sued for copyright infringement and the service provider fear it could be a concurrent ti paid services ?

while at the same time europeans will enjoy beaming files wirelessly, synching, etc. ?

seriously : yes, bluetooth featured all of this and even more since ages. But functionnality has been limited in some market. In fact i partly expect that we're going to see Zune- and eBook- style limitation on WiFi direct, for fear of enabling piracy and whatnot.

So it's like this? (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 3 years ago | (#34017782)

'Imagine if two people were on a train and wanted to play a game in real time on their separate handhelds but had no cellular or Wi-Fi hot spot. They still could play with Wi-Fi Direct,' he said."

Pfft, old news.
http://guidesarchive.ign.com/guides/12865/images/linkcable_top.jpg

So? (3, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 3 years ago | (#34017808)

This is just a brand name for ad-hoc networking, then?

Re:So? (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34017884)

This is just a brand name for ad-hoc networking, then?

Yeah, seriously. I mean, look at this quote:
"Imagine if two people were on a train and wanted to play a game in real time on their separate handhelds but had no cellular or Wi-Fi hot spot. They still could play with Wi-Fi Direct"

Nintendo DS and Sony PSP have had this exact capability for several years now. Maybe there's more to Wi-Fi Direct than what Ad Hoc networking offers - I really don't know... But this example use case isn't exactly mind-blowing.

Re:So? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34017920)

it's like ad-hoc, but wifi direct goes to 11

It already does (2, Funny)

Rix (54095) | more than 3 years ago | (#34018184)

And it goes to 13 in Japan.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34018274)

it's like ad-hoc, but wifi direct goes to 11

Channel 11?

Big whoop. I'm already on 14!

Re:So? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34017982)

Are the DS and PSP open standards for generalized communication?

Maybe they screwed up by not becoming open standards for generalized communication.

Re:So? (3, Informative)

babyrat (314371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34018022)

Maybe there's more to Wi-Fi Direct than what Ad Hoc networking offers - I really don't know..

So you could take a minute to post the fact you are uninformed to slashdot, or you could have spent that same minute informing yourself...

From the FAQ linked in the article...

Is this the same as Ad Hoc mode?

No. Ad Hoc, or IBSS, mode is a legacy protocol for Wi-Fi devices, and Wi-Fi Direct is a new innovation. Wi-Fi Direct brings important security features, ease of setup, and higher performance that is not currently available in Ad Hoc mode. With Wi-Fi Direct, a device can maintain a simultaneous connection to an infrastructure network – this isn’t possible with Ad Hoc.

Wi-Fi Direct vs. Ad-Hoc (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34018196)

Maybe there's more to Wi-Fi Direct than what Ad Hoc networking offers - I really don't know..

So you could take a minute to post the fact you are uninformed to slashdot, or you could have spent that same minute informing yourself...

Well, yes, but my point still stands: that "gaming on a train" thing is a terrible example of what Wi-Fi Direct has to offer. Playing a game wirelessly between two or more devices? We've got that already. That feature has been available at retail in mainstream gaming devices for at least six years. And that's what they chose as an example of why Wi-Fi Direct is a new and exciting feature? Pathetic.

Re:Wi-Fi Direct vs. Ad-Hoc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34018292)

It's what people will understand. Normal jack-offs will not get the technical details. Just like you don't understand how to use soap since you post on /.

Re:Wi-Fi Direct vs. Ad-Hoc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34018556)

Man up and say you were wrong, you anti-social nerd.

Re:So? (1)

MSRedfox (1043112) | more than 3 years ago | (#34018700)

"Simultaneous connection to a Wi-Fi Direct-certified group and an infrastructure network is an optional feature." From what I can tell, it more or less is a 1-on-1 (or 1-on-many depending on device's settings) automated AD Hoc (with pre-defined settings). Since connecting to both a Direct Connection and infrastructure network at the same time is optional, I assume it would have 2 WiFi devices installed to do this (if it only uses 1 device to do both I'd be surprised). As such, it's very similar to a laptop that has 2 WiFi units, 1 connecting to a local hub and the other running in AD Hoc mode. It sounds like WiFi Direct just simplifies it for the average person into a plug and play style. Nothing really new from a technology viewpoint, it's more a new standard to make implementation and certification of existing tech easier.

Re:So? (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 3 years ago | (#34019142)

It is easy enough for one card to be connected to both an infrastructure and ad-hoc network. There are however a few minor limitations (such as using the same channel for both). However, many OS's don't have a sufficent API for drivers to allow this, and even when the API is there, not all drivers implement enough to permit this. Indeed sometimes the drivers could not offer such features, because the defined driverchip path is lacking.

Just like pretty much all wifi chips have the hardware to support running in AP mode, but in many cases at least one of the drivers, chip firmware, OS, or driverchip communications path don't support the mode.

Re:So? (2, Informative)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022350)

Is this the same as Ad Hoc mode?

"No." (actually, it's damn close, so close that anyone who knows both will assume they are the same.

"Ad Hoc, or IBSS, mode is a legacy protocol for Wi-Fi devices, and Wi-Fi Direct is a new innovation." (Adhoc is old, this is new! That's the difference! Imbecile!)

"Wi-Fi Direct brings important security features, ease of setup, and higher performance that is not currently available in Ad Hoc mode." (we took adhoc mode, formalised the out-of-spec "adhoc can use more than 11MBps" stuff that manufacturers have been doing for YEARS - a five year old card of mine does 54Mbps adhoc), officially added something like WPA to it (which you could always do anyway), and made it so that it's easier to connect that just... wow... telling it to connect to a network with a particular name by double-clicking on a list)

"With Wi-Fi Direct, a device can maintain a simultaneous connection to an infrastructure network - this isn't possible with Ad Hoc." (Hooray! Something new! But this is also nothing more than either timeslicing between two networks, one of which happens to be adhoc, or having a radio(s) capable of tuning to two networks simultaneously).

In shot, Wi-Fi Direct is decent ad-hoc, ten years too late, using stuff that people have been putting into drivers for years.

Re:So? (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#34018348)

Does it work if one person has a Nintendo DS and the other has a Sony PSP? Will the new standard work between different types of gaming device? Obviously you both need to be playing the same game.

Re:So? (1)

gringer (252588) | more than 3 years ago | (#34018004)

Doesn't OLPC XO-1 use 802.11s for ad-hoc/mesh networking [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:So? (1)

notknown86 (1190215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022122)

Maybe the Zune mob can stop referring to it as "squirting" now...

Self Organizing Wireless Mesh Network (1)

4ndys (892477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34018296)

Ok, so I'm well aware that unless done correctly this would have security concerns, but... Could this type of technology be used to build a wireless mesh network, allowing people to access the Internet via wi-fi where ever they were so long as there were multiple Wi-Fi Direct appliances that could be chained together to connect to the data?

Re:Self Organizing Wireless Mesh Network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34018638)

OLPC does exactly this.

faster then the speed of marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34019046)

So basically this is just another way of saying "ad hock".

    An option, mind you, that most individuals with any concerns over privacy and/or security take great pains to ensure is turned off on their wireless-enabled devices.

    I must admit, however, that I particularly enjoyed the fact that he answers the question of security with "security is baked in to every connection with WPA2 authentication and encryption", then later on appears to elaborate on this with "...any computer could become an access point. If you have had problems with rogue access, oh boy, watch out.... You may need to rethink your security procedures.".

Software-only Upgrade? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021204)

Can existing Wi-Fi devices, like notebook PCs, just upgrade software (downloaded from the Internet) to get the Wi-Fi Direct function? Or does it require new hardware?

"Hey You" for Phones? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34021226)

Could this be the tech for sending messages to nearby phones without knowing in advance their specific network address (eg. phone# or IP#)? Phones could accept connections over Wi-Fi Direct from other nearby phones, locate them physically and show the message recipient just where the message is coming from. It would let us use our phones to say "hey, you!" or "psst" to people without everyone around knowing we did. People could shut off the messaging or screen it, or just see every message cast at them. But a way to do this would let us use our phones to augment behavior that we've appreciated for thousands of years, if not forever.

Re:"Hey You" for Phones? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022490)

But how do you know which phone belongs to that tall muscular stud two rows in front of you, rather than to the smelly fatty behind you?

Re:"Hey You" for Phones? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34023992)

Zigbee lets devices locate themselves by radio triangulation. Can't Wi-Fi do the same for other devices in the network?

Hi (0, Troll)

johanna2010 (1928806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34022046)

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THE SPEC!! for my student project (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34022494)

If anyone has it, please email it here: charles.peter.picard@gmail.com.
I can't find it anywhere.

Re:THE SPEC!! for my student project (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34022760)

If anyone has it, please email it here: charles.peter.picard@gmail.com.
I can't find it anywhere.

Or alternatively, they could post a link in this thread, for everyone else.

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