Wi-Fi Direct Could Make Interconnected Devices a Cinch

Keeping all of your gadgets friendly together—syncing, sharing, and the like—always seems like something that could be better done with a WiFi connection than a cable. The new Wi-Fi Direct certification aims to make this a simpler reality.

Wireless printing, streaming, sharing—and all the other things we want to do with our devices—isn't anything new. But it's often a confusing mishmash of support. The Wi-Fi Alliance—the people who dish out certification to guarantee wireless interoperability—has a new standard ready. Wi-Fi Direct will be a stamp of approval given to devices of all kinds that use their own wireless connectivity to directly connect with each other—no network required. This means, for instance, that a Wi-Fi Direct certified laptop would be guaranteed to print over the air or keep your phone's contacts up to date, without talking to your router.

This certification will mean fewer cords, and won't require any hardware upgrades—any existing wireless device can potentially interface with a Wi-Fi Direct peer, and certification could be applied retroactively with a firmware upgrade. Speed, setup, and security should all be about what you'd expect from a typical wireless network. Expect to see the first Wi-Fi Direct approved products arrive this holiday season—but the sooner this becomes the norm across all manufacturers, the better. USB, you're great and all, but, no offense, we're ready to move on. [Wi-Fi Alliance]