Wi-Fi “Directs” Its Artillery at Bluetooth!

The Appetizer

Bluetooth now has some serious competition from a little technology that we know as Wi-Fi.  Called Wi-Fi Direct, people will be able to use current Wi-Fi connection capabilities to not only link them to the internet or other devices through a router, but also connect them directly to another Wi-Fi enabled device– like how bluetooth works now, thus eliminating the need for routers in many cases.  The Wi-Fi Alliance will begin to certify devices for Wi-Fi Direct in 2010.

The Main Course

The Dessert

Bluetooth is popular– but Wi-Fi’s popularity dwarths Bluetooth with minimum effort since Bluetooth is traditionally used for short length directly-connected devices, and Wi-Fi is used for longer distances, and a more varied array of devices.  But if Wi-Fi, with Wi-Fi Direct, can now do the short distances, connect directly to devices, along with its original capabilities, it begs the question why would anyone use Bluetooth over Wi-Fi?  This advancement in Wi-Fi technology will now expand the usability of Wi-Fi, making it a more flexible, and attractive, alternative to Bluetooth.  Think about it, if you want to connect your headset or phone directly to your computer wirelessly, typically it is done with a bluetooth connection even if you are viewing/listening to content from a wireless link via Wi-Fi, causing you to set up 2 separate wireless systems instead of just one.  Now, you will only need one.  The impact may be felt more when it comes to the manufacturers of  wireless enabled devices because instead of having to build their technology to brand both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, they can just choose one– which then begs the question what benefit would anyone (particularly manufacturers) have with using Bluetooth if an already more widespread technology can do the same thing and more?  Make no mistake, this has the potential of having a major impact on the network communication market.  The question is will it or will consumers and manufacturers continue to support Bluetooth?  The one thing Bluetooth has over Wi-Fi is its branding.  Bluetooth has typically had this “elite” type branding– there was a time when you had to be making a nice amount of money, or at least people would suspect you did, if you had one of the  Bluetooth enabled headsets in your ear with its flashing, pulsating light.  It was a status symbol– still is, but not as much because it has become more commercialized.  However, Bluetooth devices can still cost  a person over $100 just for one of those small headsets that you could lose as quickly as you purchased it.  The branding of Wi-Fi on the other hand,  is one that is not as elite– everyone has access to it.  You do not have to be of a certain status to be able to afford Wi-Fi because in many places, usage of the technology is free.  If Bluetooth stays with that branding angle, unless Wi-Fi Direct is able to target that same ‘elite’ market, they will surely stay around and be in demand, even if its market share shrinks.  But then again, it may not, it may do the exact opposite (Starbucks anyone?).

The Overall Meal

5 Stars!

The Doggybag

Do you think Wifi Direct will catch on and become the primary choice of consumers, or does Bluetooth have a fighting chance?

Let the debate begin (below)!!

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