John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Is Bluetooth on Its Way Out?

imagesThe inexorable march of technology made wires and cable obsolete in the wake of Bluetooth and may soon do the same to the short-range wireless protocol. The Wi-Fi Alliance this week announced Wi-Fi Direct, a new short-range wireless standard capable of performing many of the same tasks as Blutooth, but at Wi-Fi speeds.

Essentially, Wi-Fi Direct turns supporting devices into access points, allowing them to connect to one another without joining a traditional network. They’ll support typical Wi-Fi ranges and the same data-transfer rates, which in the case of 802.11n is some 30 times faster than the three megabits per second for Bluetooth.

“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,” Wi-Fi Alliance Executive Director Edgar Figueroa said in a statement. “The impact is that Wi-Fi will become even more pervasive and useful for consumers and across the enterprise.”

And Bluetooth inevitably less so. Especially since Wi-Fi Direct will be available as a software upgrade for existing Wi-Fi devices. Why wait around for high-speed Bluetooth, which itself will rely on Wi-Fi for high speed data transfers, when you can use Wi-Fi Direct for your personal area network?