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WiFi Direct, Miracast challenge Apple's AirPlay

Posted: 21 Aug 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:WiFi Direct? Miracast? AirPlay? WiFi Display? DLNA?

According to the latest data from ABI Research, consumers increasingly want to bring content from their mobile devices to the big screen TV. WiFi Direct supports peer-to-peer connections between WiFi devices, while Miracast (WiFi Display) supports display of video content from tablets, smartphones and other devices to the TV.

By 2014, more than 66 percent of connected CE devices (non-mobile/computing devices) are expected to support WiFi Direct, with the majority of those devices Miracast certified as well. Miracast will facilitate developers bringing small screen content to the TVmaking one's mobile device a portable entertainment center. Miracast certification is expected to come within the next few months, with WiFi "Services" coming in 2013services will enable new functions, such as printing or gaming.

"Part of Apple's success with AirPlay stems from its cohesive ecosystemconsumers know that multiple Apple products will work together. Unfortunately, interoperability eludes other consumers, despite standards like DLNA. The desire by competitors to replicate Apple's ecosystem has done more to fragment the market than support ease of use and interoperability," stated Michael Inouye, senior analyst at ABI Research. "These new initiatives are attempting to address these shortcomings. Strong adoption by vendors, coupled with a better sense of what consumers want, will translate to increased consumer use in time."

To help support the increased demands on streaming content, next generation wireless technologies are also on the near-term horizon.802.11ac, the next generation WiFi technology (branded 5G or gigabit WiFi), is already available in select broadband routers with laptops not far behind. In the CE market, higher-end models will receive the upgrade first, trickling down through lower price tiers as the technology becomes more widespread. 60GHz wireless technology (802.11ad/WiGig) in tri-band configurations could also enable new usage models and experiences with its robust data rates (at shorter distances).

Sam Rosen, TV & video practice director at ABI Research added: "Consumers today are looking for big-screen entertainment but prefer browsing and navigation on touch devices close at hand. Improved wireless performance and standard support for ubiquitous media sharing will give application developers the opportunity to deliver the next wave of interactive advertising and shopping experiences."

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