A new wireless standard could challenge Bluetooth for peer-to-peer sharing supremacy.

By Corinne Iozzio


Routers are the middle-men of our wireless networks; without them, our Wi-Fi gadgets (laptops, hard drives, cameras, printers, whathaveyou) can't talk to each other. But routers, like most intermediaries, don't make anything easier -- not at all. A new Wi-Fi standard is on the horizon that will let our devices talk to each other directly. Ain't that sweet?

The new specification, which the Wi-Fi Alliance hopes will start showing up in devices in mid 2010, is called Wi-Fi Direct. But that's not all, a new Wi-Fi Direct device will be backwards compatible with any previously released Wi-Fi Certified gadget you have.

We've been salivating over technologies that allow for instant transfers for a year now. At this year's CES, Sony demonstrated a new technology called TransferJet, which let data "jump" from one device to another when the two were placed within a few inches of each other. Wi-Fi Direct is the same idea, but on a broader scale; in addition to data sharing for media files like video and photos (TransferJet's forté), Direct can work with all kinds of data and software apps.

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photo: Wi-Fi Direct Môsieur J./Flickr