Currently, Wi-Fi devices have to connect to a home network of some sort before you can get them to communicate with one another. This makes Wi-Fi somewhat less efficient and easy to use than Bluetooth for certain purposes, and means that things like Wi-Fi printers can be a bit of a pain to set up. No more, however. The Wi-Fi Alliance has just announced Wi-Fi Direct.
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In short, Wi-Fi Direct allows devices to connect to one another via Wi-Fi without joining any other sort of network. You can just connect your netbook directly to that printer and print. Or send music from your Wi-Fi music player to your Wi-Fi speakers without either of them being on the same network. Wi-Fi Direct doesn't add any functionality, but it does make connecting and organizing your Wi-Fi devices a hell of a lot easier.
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Direct isn't just limited to device-on-device connections. Multiple gadgets can all hook up together as well. Certification for this new specification should hit by mid-2010. Big kudos to the Wi-Fi Alliance for making all of our lives just a little bit more convenient.