back to article Can Wi-Fi really compete with Bluetooth?

Intel isn't ready to give up on pushing Wi-Fi just yet, and is pitching the technology as a competitor to Bluetooth with demonstrations by Ozmo Devices scheduled for today at the Computex trade show in Taipei. Intel has great interest in Wi-Fi, and the Centrino brand has done a lot to get the wireless networking technology …


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Intel could help itself here

Where are the open source drivers for Centrino?



BT v Wifi

Wifi is great. For networking. And if that's what they wanna use it for, then great.

But I don't really want wireless headphones working over my wireless network. The traffic that would result? What a pain.

Bluetooth has the nice advantage of very simply being able to find each other. Wifi has the limitations of "traditional" networks. Each one is great for doing different things. Don't cross the two into each other's territory unless you have a damn good way of doing so. ;)


WiFi doesn't require TCP/IP

There are actually a few devices which use raw 802.11b/g for low-level communications and discovery and so on. There's nothing about the MAC-level protocol which requires that it be used for TCP/IP. For example, look at how well Nintendo DSes work with each other (in local game mode) and with the Nintendo Wii (in DS Download Play mode). While it does lead to more spectrum contention (if the devices don't find the least-utilized channel, anyway) it's not like it adds a traffic burden to your routers etc., assuming they just sit on their own private SSID (as is the case of the aforementioned Nintendo DS use cases).

Also, ideally more things would use zeroconf (aka Bonjour) to discover each other, so even if they ARE on a TCP/IP-based network there's still not much fiddling around to get things to talk to each other.

Plus, 802.11 has WAY more useful transfer rate available. Considering how badly even something as simple as A2DP stresses Bluetooth at a whole whopping 128Kbps (which sounds terrible), I'd love to see wireless headphones which can actually transmit lossless audio (such as how Apple's AirTunes works).


Pragmatically ...

Same modem, one computer hardwired into it the other wi-fi'd to it.

Same download on hardwired took less than 5 minutes and on the wi-fi'd one in excess of 90 minutes.

Some may have time to waste (I don't unfortunately).

Interim conclusion:

+ wi-fi ok for smallish files (instant things and all that)

+ ok for background downloads that means all the equipment can be left on (carbon footprint?)

+ ok for extending comms such as remote control

+ multi-taking where chores might be somehow managed with spare CPU cycles and stuff

- wi-fi objects interfering with each other due to proximity of devices

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