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The WiFi Alliance, a trade association that promotes Wireless LAN
technology and certifies products if they conform to certain standards
of interoperability, announced that it has begun certifying products
capable of making device-to-device connections, designating those
products WiFi Certified WiFi Direct. WiFi Direct devices directly
connect with other devices for applications such as content sharing,
synching and printing.

WiFi Direct-certified devices can connect with older WiFi Certified
devices, enabling a range of devices already in use to connect with
products implementing WiFi Direct from the certification program’s
inception. WiFi Direct devices include a push-button set up mechanism,
employ the latest WPA2 security protections, and bring typical WiFi
throughput and range. WiFi Direct-certified devices can support
WiFi Certified n technology as well as older forms of WiFi. 

"We designed WiFi Direct to unleash a wide variety of applications
which require device connections, but do not need the Internet or even
a traditional network," said Edgar Figueroa, CEO of the WiFi Alliance.
"WiFi Direct empowers users to connect devices–when, where and how
they want to, and our certification program delivers products that work
well together, regardless of the brand."

The first products to be designated WiFi Certified WiFi Direct, and
which form the test suite for the certification program are the Atheros
XSPAN dual-band 802.11n PCIe Mini Card (AR928x), Broadcom’s BCM43224
dual-band 802.11n 2×2 MIMO PCIe half mini card the Intel Centrino
Advanced-N 6200, Ralink’s MIMObility 802.11n 2×2 PCIe half mini card
and Realtek’s RTL8192CE-VA4 HM92C00 PCIe mini card. In addition, the
Cisco 2106 Wireless LAN Controller and Cisco Aironet 1240 Series Access
Points were used in the certification test suite.

"WiFi Direct is a game-changing advance for WiFi technology," said
Victoria Fodale, senior analyst at IT analytics firm ABI Research. "As
people continue to increase the number of devices and the amount of
content they carry, Wi-Fi Direct extends an already-compelling
technology into an even more useful, convenient solution for all the
things people want to do with their devices."

According to a September report from the WiFi Alliance and Wakefield
Research, 64 percent of young people in the United States report that WiFi
connectivity helps them maintain relationships with their friends.
Moreover, young Americans also report they often gather around devices
for entertainment, with about 90 percent of people reporting they have
gathered around a portable device to look at pictures, videos or video