Wi-Fi Direct Coming To An Android Phone Near You

Wifi-direct Last year, first reports about Wi-Fi Direct went through the press, a technology to exchange large amounts of data quickly and easily between devices over Wi-Fi. So far, Bluetooth is used for the job but with it's limited transfer speeds of around 2 MBit/s on the application layer, it starts having difficulties with larger files no common due to increase in megapixels and general quality of images. At this year's MWC in Barcelona I have seen Samsung advertising their Wi-Fi Direct implementation for first devices (see pictures on the left). A quick web search revealed that LG is also working on / releasing Wi-Fi Direct capable devices.

So what's the difference between normal Wi-Fi based networks and Wi-Fi Direct? Normal Wi-Fi networks have a central Access Point (AP) and a device joining a network for the first time usually asks the user for password that is then used for authentication and encryption. This is a bit cumbersome if the connection between two Wi-Fi devices is only required temporarily. This is where Wi-Fi Direct comes in as it allows a hassle free connection establishment between two devices without requiring an external access point or the entry of a long password. Here's a line from the Wikipedia entry on the topic that describes it pretty well:

"Wi-Fi Direct essentially embeds a software access point, or "soft AP", into any device that wishes to support [Wi-Fi] Direct. The soft AP provides a version of Wi-Fi Protected Setup with its push-button or PIN based setup."