Update: Snapdragon S4 could still be the first platform to enable WiFi Display, but OMAP4 is more likely to beat them to the punch.
Wouldn’t it be cool to walk into your living room and have your smartphone’s content automatically displayed on your TV? WiFi Display is a new industry standard that allows users to easily share content from device to device without the need for an Internet connection or access point.
The WiFi Display technology that allows a direct, peer-to-peer wireless connection is known in the industy as WiFi Direct. Analysts predict that every consumer electronics device will be WiFi Direct enabled by 2014, but Qualcomm will deliver this new wireless standard to Android devices this summer.
Every Snapdragon S4 device will support WiFi Display, but the first ones to ship will not have it enabled out of the box. Android already supports the WiFi Direct software stack, but the WiFi Display still needs to be tested and finalized.
The Wi-Fi Display standard should be certified by the WiFi Alliance in Q2 and the first Android devices to support it will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 platform. Today at CES we spoke with Kishore Jotwani, Sr. Director of Product Management at Qualcomm Atheros, and he estimated we could see working WiFi Display on Android by June if things go according to plan.
Once the standard is ratified, existing Snapdragon S4 devices will have it enabled by a firmware over-the-air update.
All devices that support WiFi Display can discover each other automatically and establish a secure connection. Once two devices are paired, they can easily exchange data and services. An example of this would be full screen mirroring of your smartphone onto any screen that has WiFi Dispaly enabled.
For the current generation of TVs and projectors that do not support WiFi Display, a special HDMI dongle can enable this feaure. Expect these dongles to retail for under $100.
Gary Szilagyi, vice president and general manager, consumer electronics group, Qualcomm Atheros said, “Allowing devices to connect and share video and audio content wirelessly eliminates the need for messy cables and allows for viewing from the comfort of your sofa. These new WiFi Display-enabled solutions will encourage manufacturers to create a new generation of interoperable and compatible devices that make for friendlier device connectivity and easy content sharing.”
I’d love to sit down on my couch and browse the web on a big screen using only my smartphone, while it rests in my pocket or sits on the table. Paired with a wireless keyboard and mouse, it would create a PC-like experience, which is pretty damn cool.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 is shaping up to become the do-it-all mobile platform. Check off WiFi Display as one of the must-have features of the next-generation of superphones.