230 Certified Wi-Fi Direct Products, And Yet…

According to the Wi-Fi Alliance website, there are now 230 products certified for Wi-Fi Direct support. And yet, despite tracking the standard’s progress for more than 18 months, I’ve seen virtually zero traction at the consumer level. I can think of three reasons for this. First, some of the products certified likely haven’t been released yet. LG’s got a list of products a mile long, but many were only certified in the last six weeks. Second, as a reporter at Wired noted last October, different Wi-Fi Direct devices support different types of connections. This is odd because the new standard is supposed to be compatible even with regular Wi-Fi products. However, apparently depending on how a new product is designed, it might for example, support Wi-Fi Direct printing, but, not a Wi-Fi Direct connection to an external display.

Third and finally, nobody’s made a good case to consumers yet on the benefits of Wi-Fi Direct. The simplest use case for the new standard might be the one for easy wireless printing. Unfortunately, I’ve only seen one printer listed as supporting Wi-Fi Direct, and it turns out the HP LaserJet Pro 100 will require a firmware upgrade in the future to get the additional wireless feature. It would seem that a Wi-Fi Direct connection for a TV or monitor would also be an easy sell, but I’ve seen nobody market it well. Think about it. How nice would it be to be able to throw a video up on the TV from a laptop without having to connect to the Internet? No router configuration, and no worry about bandwidth caps.

I assume it’s only a matter of time before Wi-Fi Direct takes off, but with the first products certified last October, I thought we’d be a little further along in the process by now. Where’s the marketing machine?

3 thoughts on “230 Certified Wi-Fi Direct Products, And Yet…”

  1. I’m no longer as well-informed about technology as I used to be, but I read a few blogs every day… and this is, IIRC, the first thing I ever hear about Wi-Fi Direct. So yeah, the marketing machine might not have been that successful…

  2. Sending files (“AirDrop”) from one laptop to another without requiring both of you to join a common wifi router (giving out your home wifi router password say) would be another application.

    Or just playing a game against an opponent via wifi, again without requiring you to share your password.

  3. on a side note, only these macs support air drop, because all other macs lack the new wifi hardware.

    – MacBookPro (Late 2008 or newer)
    – MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer)
    – MacBook (Late 2008 or newer)
    – iMac (Early 2009 or newer)
    – Mac Mini (Mid 2010 or newer)
    – Mac Pro (Early 2009 with AirPort Extreme card, or Mid 2010)

    i was looking forward to this ‘wifi’ direct type of experience in my house. i use drop box, but was hoping to use this new functionality within lion.

    i looked my computer info here: http://www.appleserialnumberinfo.com/Desktop/index.php

    i’m rocking a “MacBook Pro (15-inch Early 2008)” so I missed the compatible hardware by about 6 months.

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