Q: Is Wi-Fi Direct going to be replacing regular Wi-Fi? What's the difference? Do I have to worry about upgrading some of my gadgets?
A: Last week, the global non-profit Wi-Fi Alliance announced that certification of Wi-Fi Direct products had started. The Wi-Fi Alliance, which works to promote a single worldwide standard for wireless networking, counts Apple, Intel and other influential players among its members, so we're likely to see a lot of certified devices hitting the market soon.
Formerly known as Wi-Fi Peer-to-Peer, Wi-Fi Direct makes it easy for various electronics to communicate with each other without access to traditional wireless hot spots. Off the grid or outside of the network, these devices will be about to connect and share files -- photos, video, music -- anytime, anywhere.
New Wi-Fi Direct-certified products will be able to connect with older Wi-Fi certified devices, bringing millions of gadgets into the fold. "Wi-Fi Direct is a game-changing advance for Wi-Fi technology," said Victoria Fodale, Senior Analyst at ABI Research, in a press release. "As people continue to increase the number of devices and the amount of content they carry, Wi-Fi Direct extends an already-compelling technology into an even more useful, convenient solution for all the things people want to do with their devices."