Apple Wednesday endorsed Wi-Fi Direct, an industry plan to eliminate the need for hotspots in order for wireless gadgets to connect. The standard, expected to be available by the middle of 2010, may mean increased competition for Bluetooth and allow iPhones, iPods and iBooks to easily network.
“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 Edga Figueroa said in a statement.
The peer-to-peer standard would be available for new Apple products, as well as older products. In 2008, Apple said one goal for its line of iPods was to be “one of the first WiFi mobile platforms.” The standard also comes as Verizon promotes its MiFi as a way to create a mobile WiFi router using cellular networks.
Because abilities of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth overlap, the new Wi-Fi Direct standard could compete with the short-range wireless connection technology in areas such as printing and and other peripherals. Apple already uses Bluetooth for its line of wireless mice and keyboards.