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Author Topic: Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?  (Read 6427 times)

superboyac

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Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?
« on: November 14, 2014, 04:15:04 PM »
I'm looking for an adapter that can turn my desktop pc into a wifi-direct enabled computer (without using another access point or router).  Now, as I'm looking into it, it's quite unclear how to do this.  I was thinking there would be some kind of wifi-direct USB device that I plug in like a bluetooth adapter, and bingo.  But I can't find a single one!
I go to the Wifi Alliance website:
http://www.wi-fi.org...r-wi-fi/wi-fi-direct
then I go to where it says "product finder", which sends me here:
http://www.wi-fi.org...i-fi-direct-products
Which is basically an empty page.
So where are these devices?
I don't want a Miracast or anything, because that's basically a restricted-use device.  I want an adapter that will connect the computer directly and then I can do anything that I normally do over wifi.  I don't want Miracast dictating what I can and can't do.  But that seems to be where the tech is at currently.  However, I'm not sure, and it's not clear, and so forth.

It appears to me that the "industry" is keeping wifi-direct out of the spotlight, because the technology is definitely in most of the newer high end devices (phones, game controllers, HDMI adapters like chromecast) and all the implementations so far are quite restricted.  You will not be able to take advantage of the technology in an open manner.

Anyway, so I want an adapter basically.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2014, 05:28:02 PM »
I don't want a Miracast or anything, because that's basically a restricted-use device.  I want an adapter that will connect the computer directly and then I can do anything that I normally do over wifi.  I don't want Miracast dictating what I can and can't do.  But that seems to be where the tech is at currently.  However, I'm not sure, and it's not clear, and so forth.

Okay, I just did a bit of quick research and it doesn't look like that's an option to me:

Quote from: Wi-Fi.org
Q. How is Miracast related to Wi-Fi Direct?

A. Wi-Fi Direct allows devices to connect directly to each other, without the need for a Wi-Fi AP, and requiring just the push of a button, the entry of a PIN, or tapping two NFC-capable devices together. Wi-Fi Direct allows source and display devices to discover one another and provides the underlying device-to-device connectivity for Miracast. Miracast builds upon Wi-Fi Direct with mechanisms to negotiate video capabilities, setup content protection (if needed), stream content, and maintain the video session. - See more at: http://www.wi-fi.org...sthash.pVpt3GVj.dpuf


So... Miracast sounds more like a protocol than an evil restrictive corporation to me.

Deozaan

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Re: Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2014, 08:49:46 PM »
How is Wi-Fi Direct different from ad-hoc wifi? :-\


4wd

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Re: Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2014, 09:15:06 PM »
How is Wi-Fi Direct different from ad-hoc wifi? :-\

Looks like the "no brain required, just push the button" version of Ad-Hoc.

:P

Deozaan

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Re: Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2014, 09:48:41 PM »
While playing around with the new Android 5.0 "Lollipop" I noticed in my "Wireless & networks" settings there's a new Wi-Fi Direct option in the advanced section.

I had no idea what it was at the time. And if I'm being honest, I basically still don't. :D


Stoic Joker

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Re: Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2014, 10:12:17 PM »
How is Wi-Fi Direct different from ad-hoc wifi? :-\

Ad-hoc is strictly point-to-point. Wi-Fi Direct is point-to-multi-point ...(e.g. Infrastructure mode without the infrastructure device)... And it has a Derp-to-connect button.

4wd

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Re: Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2014, 11:23:40 PM »
I thought Ad-Hoc is peer-to-peer when communicating but the actual Ad-Hoc network size, (in device numbers), is only limited by the environment interfering with device communication.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2014, 09:38:59 AM »
Ad-Hoc is the wireless equivalent of using a crossover cable to connect two devices. You can Ping-Pong between the two device...but that's as far as anything can ever get. Wi-Fi Direct (mind you I'm only working with what I read in the link posted above) allows a single wireless NIC to connect to more that one target at a time.

So if you connected your laptop to a hotel's wireless, and you wanted to connect a wireless printer as well. The laptop could connect separately and directly to the wireless printer while maintaining the connection to the hotel's wireless network, instead of having to connect the printer to the hotel's wireless network and then access it (hopefully unless session isolation is enabled) through the hotel.

Deozaan

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Re: Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2014, 12:47:10 AM »
Can a regular wifi adapter do that? Or do you need a special WiFi Direct card/adapter thingy? For some reason I thought a wifi adapter could only connect to one thing at a time.


Stoic Joker

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Re: Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2014, 06:49:10 AM »
Can a regular wifi adapter do that? Or do you need a special WiFi Direct card/adapter thingy? For some reason I thought a wifi adapter could only connect to one thing at a time.

Correct, hence the problem Wi-Fi Direct is purportedly to 'solve'.

I think you just circled back to Superboy's original question. While the OS has to have an awareness of the technology, the adapter - it would appear - also needs to have ??X?? ...and nobody seems to have created a list of devices what do that.

I'm thinking it has a different protocol name that identifies it as WFD compatible/capable ... Just can't nail down wtf it is.

4wd

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Re: Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2014, 08:05:43 AM »
From Wikipediaw:

Quote
The Wi-Fi Direct devices negotiate when they first connect to determine which device shall act as an access point.
Quote
Direct essentially embeds a software access point ("Soft AP"), into any device that must support Direct.

That sounds suspiciously like the Virtual AP functionality in Windows 7+ without going through the hassle of typing commands.

40hz

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Re: Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2014, 08:19:23 AM »
After the initial flurry of breathless "game changer" announcements, it seems to have stalled out around 2012. The biggest motivation seemed to be killing off Bluetooth - which is odd because that's something that never really went mainstream beyond headsets for smartphones. (On second thought, reason enough for everybody else to want to kill it since it's a Microsoft proprietary technology.) >:D

CORRECTION! It's not.
Look here.

There's some talk of how this may be the key technology for bringing "the internet of things" to the general public. But most of it seems to imply wifi-direct will be built into the devices rather than offered as an add-on. Which could make it a selling point for new devices.

Be still my heart! :-\
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 02:22:17 PM by 40hz, Reason: Corrected factual error. Apologies! »

superboyac

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Re: Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2014, 10:19:06 AM »
After the initial flurry of breathless "game changer" announcements, it seems to have stalled out around 2012. The biggest motivation seemed to be killing off Bluetooth - which is odd because that's something that never really went mainstream beyond headsets for smartphones. (On second thought, reason enough for everybody else to want to kill it since it's a Microsoft proprietary technology.) >:D

There's some talk of how this may be the key technology for bringing "the internet of things" to the general public. But most of it seems to imply wifi-direct will be built into the devices rather than offered as an add-on. Which could make it a selling point for new devices.

Be still my heart! :-\
Well, THAT is certainly interesting, thanks.
If you had asked me 5 years ago, I fully would have expected this kind of tech to be common now.

Bluetooth is MS's tech?  Why do they suck at implementing it then?
Interesting...the new xbox one controller doesn't use bluetooth.  Supposedly it uses Wifi DIrect, but it's not terribly clear.  On the other hand, the PS4 controller uses bluetooth and it works really well.

40hz

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Re: Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2014, 02:24:24 PM »
Bluetooth is MS's tech?

Nope! I misspoke. See correction in previous post.

per Wikipedia:

Quote
Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances (using short-wavelength UHF radio waves in the ISM band from 2.4 to 2.485 GHz[3]) from fixed and mobile devices, and building personal area networks (PANs). Invented by telecom vendor Ericsson in 1994,[4] it was originally conceived as a wireless alternative to RS-232 data cables. It can connect several devices, overcoming problems of synchronization.

Bluetooth is managed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), which has more than 20,000 member companies in the areas of telecommunication, computing, networking, and consumer electronics.[5] Bluetooth was standardized as IEEE 802.15.1, but the standard is no longer maintained. The SIG oversees the development of the specification, manages the qualification program, and protects the trademarks.[6] To be marketed as a Bluetooth device, it must be qualified to standards defined by the SIG.[7] A network of patents is required to implement the technology, which is licensed only for that qualifying device.

 :-[

Stoic Joker

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Re: Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2014, 03:22:26 PM »
After the initial flurry of breathless "game changer" announcements, it seems to have stalled out around 2012. The biggest motivation seemed to be killing off Bluetooth - which is odd because that's something that never really went mainstream beyond headsets for smartphones.

...And rapid (short burst) device to device file transfers. All those commercials with people whirling around smacking their phones together while the picture jumped from device to device were using NFC (Near Field Communication). NFC was originally (and still is as I understand it) by design dependent on a secondary Bluetooth connection to do the actual file transfer ("work").

However some companies like HP are using the initial NFC handshake to trigger a WiFi connection for their quick print from your phone widget. Which may have much to do with it - for the most part - not working on any device I've gotten ahold of to try with in any fashion vaguely reminiscent of the brochure's rhetoric..

HP's on printer NFC (to WiFi) implementation does work, it's just way too many steps to really be called truly convenient IMO.

Deozaan

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Re: Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2014, 05:51:42 PM »
While the OS has to have an awareness of the technology, the adapter - it would appear - also needs to have ??X?? ...and nobody seems to have created a list of devices what do that.

Then how come my Android tablet suddenly has Wifi Direct capabilities because of an OS update? :huh:


Stoic Joker

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Re: Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2014, 10:13:43 PM »
While the OS has to have an awareness of the technology, the adapter - it would appear - also needs to have ??X?? ...and nobody seems to have created a list of devices what do that.

Then how come my Android tablet suddenly has Wifi Direct capabilities because of an OS update? :huh:

The hardware was capable, but the OS hadn't caught up yet. That's hardly odd in the industry. Much like FireWire support in Vista. Sure you could order a machine with it, but it ran like crap - if at all - until somebody got around to shitting a proper driver for it.

The whole thread is about the lack of clarity regarding what if anything is required of/by/out of the hardware for proper WFD compatibility.

superboyac

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Re: Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2014, 05:19:18 PM »
OK, good info here.  but I have a couple of fundamental questions:
--Is wifi direct dead? Is development accelerating/decelerating? (I feel accelerating only because it's supposedly being used in the xbox one.  But since miracast has turned out to be so lame, that could indicate it's decelerating.)
--Is there anything similar to wifi direct, but called something else?
--basically, I want to buy a diy chip and do stuff with it.

Innuendo

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Re: Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2014, 10:28:50 PM »
Then how come my Android tablet suddenly has Wifi Direct capabilities because of an OS update? :huh:

Must not be a Samsung tablet then. All of Samsung's recent Android phones and tablets have Wi-Fi Direct implemented in them from day one. I know I should hate Samsung with all the TouchWiz and the glut of features that a lot of people call bloatware, but I got a Galaxy S5 because of the rave reviews of the screen and I just love all the functionality packed in there. Loved it so much I just bought a Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 for $199.99.

Loving it as well. I used to be a die-hard Samsung hater, too. What happened?

Deozaan

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Re: Do any wifi-DIRECT adapters actually exist?
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2014, 12:28:37 PM »
Then how come my Android tablet suddenly has Wifi Direct capabilities because of an OS update? :huh:

Must not be a Samsung tablet then. All of Samsung's recent Android phones and tablets have Wi-Fi Direct implemented in them from day one. I know I should hate Samsung with all the TouchWiz and the glut of features that a lot of people call bloatware, but I got a Galaxy S5 because of the rave reviews of the screen and I just love all the functionality packed in there. Loved it so much I just bought a Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 for $199.99.

Loving it as well. I used to be a die-hard Samsung hater, too. What happened?

I suppose my tablet (Asus Nexus 7 2013) could have had WiFi Direct the whole time, but the option for it wasn't in the software until recently, or maybe I never noticed the option for it until recently.