WiFi Alliance Wi Fi Display coming by mid year, partners already working on it

Last week we wrote about Intel's plans for its WiDi technology and one of the new additions this year will be support for Wi-Fi Display, although we didn't know much about it at the time. Now some additional details have emerged at CES and as we suspected, Wi-Fi Display is a standard by the Wi-Fi Alliance which could drive Wi-Fi enabled display products into the mainstream.

Last week we wrote about Intel's plans for its WiDi technology and one of the new additions this year will be support for Wi-Fi Display, although we didn't know much about it at the time. Now some additional details have emerged at CES and as we suspected, Wi-Fi Display is a standard by the Wi-Fi Alliance which could drive Wi-Fi enabled display products into the mainstream.

The details are still fairly slim with a short mention in a press release by the Wi-Fi Alliance. It mentions support for “rich video and audio content, including HD video” but doesn't go into any details. We presume it'll rely on Wi-Fi Direct as the press release goes on to mention that there's no need for a traditional Wi-Fi network to use Wi-Fi Display.

Thankfully Marvell also issued a press release that talks a bit more about Wi-Fi Display and the company is apparently running demoes at its booth at CES. From this press release it's pretty clear that it's Wi-Fi Direct based as it mentions peer-to-peer connectivity. Even though the technology is labelled Wi-Fi Display, it will support audio streaming, so we'd expect to see this in Hi-Fi equipment as well as built into TVs, projectors and what not. In fact, Marvell is expecting Wi-Fi headphones that connect to your home stereo, although we're not so sure about this one.

Marvell will implement support for Wi-Fi Display into its range of Avatar Avastar Wi-Fi solutions and the company is working on a new Wi-Fi stack to add features such as link provisioning and management, video transcoding, 1080p HD video transport over Wi-Fi and of course DRM. Marvell is expecting to add support to Android and Windows based mobile devices as well as HDMI dongles with Wi-Fi Display, Blu-ray and set top boxes and even throws in a mention of Google TV which makes sense as the company is making the chips for the second gen Google TV hardware.

Wi-Fi Display should have a couple of advantages over any current wireless display technology, as for one Wi-Fi can be found in just about any type of device these days. Secondly it's cheap to implement, something that guarantees a widespread adoption and something that's preventing technologies such as WHDI which has proven to be quite costly. There are of course limitations, but considering Intel claims to be able to do 3D video over WiDi, we see no reason why this shouldn't work over Wi-Fi Display in the future. We wouldn't expect higher resolution video or 1080p60 video to work, nor does multiple video streams work, yet.

This is something the recently announced 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard would be able to address and again shows that going down the Wi-Fi route makes sense, as there's no reason why 802.11ac wouldn't get support for Wi-Fi Display. We'll keep an eye on things as they develop, as there are still a good six months until the first devices will start to appear with Wi-Fi Display support.

Source: Wi-Fi Alliance, Marvell