Apple has jumped on the Wi-Fi Direct bandwagon, which means we could see the technology introduced into the iPhone and iPod touch as early as 2010. What is it and what does it do? It basically lets devices connect peer-to-peer for data exchange, similar to how Bluetooth currently works. Or, if we understand it right, imagine the Remote app controlling your iTunes or Apple TV, but directly, without the need for shared router in between. Says AppleInsider:
The new Wi-Fi Direct standard is intended for both consumer electronics and enterprise applications. It will include WPA2 security, and management features for enterprise environments. The new technology will use roughly the same power, provide the same data rates, and offer the same range as current Wi-Fi products.
Given the timetable, it might cut things too close for Wi-Fi Direct in a 4th generation iPhone, expected to be announced in mid-June at WWDC 2010, though it might be in time for a 4th generation iPod touch that September. But here's hoping Apple can get it done. Just think of the phat multi-player gaming pipe it would provide... (Or, you know -- pay attention Apple! -- Wi-Fi Direct Sync?!)