Wi-Fi Direct permeating Personal Area Networking

Did you hear it?

Wi-Fi Alliance launches a specification called Wi-Fi Direct that allows WLAN (Wireless LAN) devices to connect directly without an Access Point in between. Well, well, this appears to be a war of worlds between the WLAN and Bluetooth camps because this surely will fit the use cases of Bluetooth users. Does this also mean the end of WLAN Access Points (AP)? That's yet to be seen.

802.11 WLAN technology, as you might be aware of, offers two types of WLANs: 'Ad Hoc' and 'Infrastructure'. The 'Ad Hoc', termed as IBSS (Independent Basic Service Set), allows two WLAN stations to talk to each other directly. In other words, this is technology that exists today. So, what's the new hoopla around Wi-Fi Direct.

As per the FAQs, Wi-Fi Direct will offer discovery as a compelling feature that will make it easy to enable applications. Wi-Fi Direct incorporates several important innovations in Wi-Fi technology, such as higher data rates, enterprise manageability, WMM Quality of Service mechanisms, and power management protocols to peer-to-peer connectivity. The details of which station will initiate the connection is till to be defined in the final specification.

Also, the Ad-hoc wireless networking offers up to 11Mbps which is expected to be beefed up to approximately 250 Mbps with Wi-Fi Direct. There are no hardware upgrades necessary to use this new specification. It'll be turned on using a software upgrade.

This specification surely provides consumers to use a Personal Area Networking (PAN) technology at data rates and physical ranges that are synonymous with WLAN. Additionally, existing security aspects such as WPA2 will be part of this specification, which bolsters the security concerns drastically.

Do you agree with Tony Bradley's comment, "I think Bluetooth's days could be numbered"?

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