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Wi-Fi Direct Launches to take on Bluetooth

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The Wi-Fi alliance has today announced Wi-Fi Direct, a new level of certification that will enable Wi-Fi devices to connect directly to each other and perform tasks such as printing, syncing data and transferring content, without any need for a router as an intermediary.

If you’re thinking that this sort of functionality sounds familiar you’d be right – this is pretty much what Bluetooth has been doing for some years. As such the arrival of Wi-Fi Direct has been billed as a Wi-Fi vs Bluetooth face-off.

Of course, the Bluetooth 3.0+ HS standard, ratified, in April 2009 actually had the idea of using Wi-Fi, before the Wi-Fi Alliance did. Bluetooth 3.0 hitches a ride on Wi-Fi to boost speeds up to 24Mbps – but Wi-Fi direct is claiming of speeds up to 250Mbps and a range of up to 200 metres.
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Security is taken care of by WPA2 as standard and users will be able to use their Wi-Fi connection to connect to the Internet at the same time.

So far five products have been certified as compatible.

• Atheros XSPAN® Dual-band 802.11n PCIe Mini Card (AR928x)
• Broadcom BCM43224 Dual-Band 802.11n 2x2 MIMO PCIe Half Mini Card
• Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6200
• Ralink MIMObility 802.11n 2x2 PCIe Half Mini Card
• Realtek RTL8192CE-VA4 HM92C00 PCIe mini card

The Wi-Fi alliance devices will offer push button connectivity to make hooking up easy. While setting up headsets to talk to each other is a breeze with Bluetooth, setting it up for laptop to laptop file transfer connectivity is to many still a dark and mysterious art, so the Bluetooth vs Wi-Fi Direct battle could come down to whoever has the prettiest interface. Get working boys and girls.

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