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Next-generation Wi-Fi technology announced

Wi-Fi Direct could spell the end for Bluetooth

Surf the internet using Wi-Fi hotspots

A groundbreaking development in Wi-Fi technology will make it easier to share and print pictures and documents across a range of devices.

From next year, new technology will allow wireless laptops, cameras, phones and printers to connect to each other without joining a traditional home, office, or hotspot network.

The new development is a result of work from industry group the Wi-Fi Alliance who are working on the new Wi-Fi Direct specification.

Wi-Fi hot spots

Wi-Fi Direct will automatically scan for local existing hotspots and any enabled devices, such as cameras, phones and computers.

Which? Computing researcher Andy Woodward said: ‘This is a really exciting development making it easy for consumers to take advantage of the high speeds offered by Wi-Fi connections.’

The impact of the new technology could spell the end of wireless routers in some cases and Bluetooth, which is currently used widely to share photos across mobile phones.

Wi-Fi Alliance

The Alliance’s executive director Edgar Figueroa said: ‘Wi-Fi Direct represents a leap forward for our industry. Wi-Fi users worldwide will benefit from a single-technology solution to transfer content and share applications quickly and easily among devices, even when a Wi-Fi access point isn’t available.’

The Wi-Fi Alliance plans to publish its peer-to-peer specification upon completion, and will begin certifying devices for the Wi-Fi Direct designation in 2010. Only Wi-Fi Alliance member companies, which include industry giants Microsoft and Apple, will be able to stamp their products with the Wi-Fi Direct logo.

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