Wi-Fi Direct Spec Could Be Bluetooth's Demise

Called Wi-Fi Direct, the specification will make it easier to transfer content and share data between a wide range of consumer electronic devices, but it's also designed for use with enterprise applications, according to the Wi-Fi Alliance, an industry group that includes Intel, Cisco, Apple, and more than 300 other companies.

On Wednesday, the Wi-Fi Alliance said it plans to begin certification for Wi-Fi Direct in mid-2010. Once that happens, Wi-Fi Direct will present an alternative connectivity option to Bluetooth and other short range and home networking technologies.

To make Wi-Fi Direct viable for corporate enterprise usage, the specification includes built-in management features as well as WPA2 security. "The impact is that Wi-Fi will become even more pervasive and useful for consumers and across the enterprise," Wi-Fi Alliance Executive Director Edgar Figueroa said in a statement.

Wi-Fi Direct is a reflection of the near-ubiquity of Wi-Fi enabled devices. Wi-Fi can now be found not only in PCs and mobile devices, but also keyboards, printers, headphones, pens, and yes, even toothbrushes.

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The Wi-Fi Direct specification, previously known as Wi-Fi Peer-To-Peer, can handle either one-to-one device connections or ones involving a group of devices. Products that meet the Wi-Fi Alliance's certification requirements will receive the somewhat unwieldy designation of "Wi-Fi Certified Wi-Fi Direct".