WiFi Direct vs Bluetooth

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. A new WiFi spec allowing for direct ad hoc connections between nodes without
    going through access points is now available
    <http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/what-wifi-direct-is-and-is-not/7617>.

    This is a direct competitor to Bluetooth. Unlike Bluetooth, it lets you run
    standard TCP/IP protocols, instead of custom Bluetooth-specific protocols.
    This should make it easier to support a wide range of functions by adapting
    existing software/firmware stacks. Bluetooth had specs for lots of
    functions, but nobody seemed to use them—the main application seemed to be
    just wireless headsets.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 27, 2010
    #1
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  2. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    JohnO Guest

    On Oct 27, 2:03 pm, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <l...@geek-
    central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:
    > A new WiFi spec allowing for direct ad hoc connections between nodes without
    > going through access points is now available
    > <http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/what-wifi-direct-is-and-is-not/...>.
    >
    > This is a direct competitor to Bluetooth. Unlike Bluetooth, it lets you run
    > standard TCP/IP protocols, instead of custom Bluetooth-specific protocols..
    > This should make it easier to support a wide range of functions by adapting
    > existing software/firmware stacks. Bluetooth had specs for lots of
    > functions, but nobody seemed to use them—the main application seemed to be
    > just wireless headsets.


    Hasn't ad-hoc networking always been a wifi feature?
     
    JohnO, Oct 27, 2010
    #2
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  3. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    David Empson Guest

    JohnO <> wrote:

    > On Oct 27, 2:03 pm, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <l...@geek-
    > central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:
    > > A new WiFi spec allowing for direct ad hoc connections between nodes without
    > > going through access points is now available
    > > <http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/what-wifi-direct-is-and-is-not/...>.
    > >
    > > This is a direct competitor to Bluetooth. Unlike Bluetooth, it lets you run
    > > standard TCP/IP protocols, instead of custom Bluetooth-specific protocols.
    > > This should make it easier to support a wide range of functions by adapting
    > > existing software/firmware stacks. Bluetooth had specs for lots of
    > > functions, but nobody seemed to use them-the main application seemed to be
    > > just wireless headsets.

    >
    > Hasn't ad-hoc networking always been a wifi feature?


    I've only had a quick glance so far, but at a minimum it improves on
    ad-hoc networks by offering better security (WPA2 rather than being
    limited to WEP).

    Older equipment will see a WiFi Direct device as a base station, so will
    connect to it in infrastructure mode, rather than ad-hoc mode.

    Apart from those details it seems to be similar to an ad-hoc network in
    principle, with extra features such as advertising available services
    prior to connection, and being able to connect simultaneously to a WiFi
    Direct network and an infrastructure network. (Ad-hoc can't do that.)

    According to the WiFi Alliance FAQ, it should be possible to add support
    for WiFi Direct via a software upgrade in at least some equipment.

    See overview here, including a link to the FAQ:

    http://www.wi-fi.org/Wi-Fi_Direct.php

    --
    David Empson
     
    David Empson, Oct 27, 2010
    #3
  4. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Richard Guest

    On 27/10/2010 2:34 p.m., JohnO wrote:
    > On Oct 27, 2:03 pm, Lawrence D'Oliveiro<l...@geek-
    > central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:
    >> A new WiFi spec allowing for direct ad hoc connections between nodes without
    >> going through access points is now available
    >> <http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/what-wifi-direct-is-and-is-not/...>.
    >>
    >> This is a direct competitor to Bluetooth. Unlike Bluetooth, it lets you run
    >> standard TCP/IP protocols, instead of custom Bluetooth-specific protocols.
    >> This should make it easier to support a wide range of functions by adapting
    >> existing software/firmware stacks. Bluetooth had specs for lots of
    >> functions, but nobody seemed to use them—the main application seemed to be
    >> just wireless headsets.

    >
    > Hasn't ad-hoc networking always been a wifi feature?


    ad-hoc only got you a layer 2 network available, there was no standard
    way of addressing or finding once they were on the same segment.

    That left annoying private 169 address guesses by the OS and then
    Bonjour or whatever ontop of that, dhcp timeouts and discovery took
    forever, so to most people the promose of the network control panels
    "connect to another computer directly" was about as useful as handing
    them a crossover cable and saying "there ya go!"

    bluetooth has let people very very slowly transfer single files,
    contacts in a limited form, pictures etc for a long time, but discovery
    is slow as, transfer is slow, and there is nothing do do things like
    browse shared media on the other device and start multiple transfers, as
    it really is only FTP under the hood without much in the way of finding
    stuff. Pairing on bluetooth is a bloody joke with pin numbers, things
    timing out while the other end is awaiting input etc.

    Only had a quick look at the wifidirect stuff. Would like to see higher
    quality audio be supported, which would be nice for wireless headphones
    that didnt make everything sound like a dirty mp3 encode from the lame
    days, as is the case with a2dp most of the time.
     
    Richard, Oct 27, 2010
    #4
  5. In message <ia9552$2ma$>, Richard wrote:

    > bluetooth has let people very very slowly transfer single files,
    > contacts in a limited form, pictures etc for a long time, but discovery
    > is slow as, transfer is slow ...


    Interesting. According to this
    <http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/26/wi_fi_direct/>, the only reason
    Bluetooth got any popularity at all was because phone shops in Europe
    insisted on it so they could sell high-margin wireless headsets.

    I think I would bet in favour of Wi-Fi, because it uses an existing standard
    network protocol stack, rather than trying to invent its own.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 28, 2010
    #5
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