Jan 12 AT 1:10 AM Taylor Wimberly 34 Comments

First Android devices with WiFi Display will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon


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.

Via: Qualcomm Atheros

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • BlkSquad

    Sounds awesome and I was wondering what the wifi direct option was on my captivate cm9 alpha.

  • Rakendu jois

    So whn r apple going to patent this?They ahve applied for face unlock even though google implemented it first.

  • http://varemenos.com/ Varemenos

    I still dont even have a TV that supports HDMI, so i dont think i will be buying a new tv just to get Wifi Display from my phone.

  • Rohan

    Can it be used to stream TV display onto your phone?

  • c1liu

    is this something new? i have the tmob galaxy s2 with snapdragon s3… it already has WiFi direct in the settings?

  • astria

    wait, so wat the hell is the WiFi Direct option in my Galaxy S II and OG Galaxy Tab? are we talking abt the same thing?

    • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

      this is a new wifi feature which uses wifi direct. Wifi direct simply lets wifi direct devises to speak to each other without connecting through a wifi router. It can be used to transfer files directly between two devices even if youre in the middle of the desert. Wifi display will use wifi direct to share your screenbetween two devices.

      • astria

        well, didn’t Samsung and Intel settled the difference between DLNA and WiDi to make them compatible with one another?

  • CTown

    So, if I stream Netflix, do I end up streaming the video twice? Once to the phone, then from the phone to the TV?

    • delinear

      No, think of it more like a wireless HDMI cable.

    • http://theandroidappshow.com Lane Montgomery

      Essentially, yes.

      Your phone runs the app and then mirrors the content to the 2nd screen much like iOS’s screen mirroring works between iPad 2′s and Apple TVs.

  • thekaz

    It is nice to have options, but it makes it seem like the industry doesn’t know where it wants to go — devices hooked to TVs, TVs which connect to the internet directly and run apps, or wireless streaming from tablets/phones to TVs…

  • tarwinia

    So… There are at least 3 wireless display standards? WiFi Display, WHDI, and WiDi? Or are some of them the same?

    Well, it doesn’t matter too much as long as you don’t have all three technologies on different gadgets and a tv compatible with none (ergo requiring three different dongles).

  • Ruperto

    Cool but probably not very useful. Google TV users can already do most of this.. Pushing content such as YouTube videos onto the big screen and of course surfing the web.

  • Nathan D.

    The S4 is sounding very awesome right now.

  • Chaoz

    hm..as long as you have to do some manual pairing :) I could forsee people walking by my house and displaying all sorts of things on my TV :)

  • Louis A

    Wait, a little confused with Wi-Fi Direct and Wi-Fi Display. So even though for example my Gnex already supports Wi-Fi Direct it still needs to get a Wi-Fi Display chip? Something like that?

  • spazby

    Very exciting

  • revs

    Wait I’m confused why can’t my sensation or EVO 3d screen share be used for the same thing?

  • z10m

    Apple already has that.
    It’s called wireless mirroring.
    The drawbacks are lower quality(compressed image) and delay as compressing/decompressing takes time.
    I prefer cable where picture is exactly same quality and is displayed instantly on the screen without any delay.

    • Trinhbo

      Apple’s version only works between Apple devices and Apple TVs. This should allow for more devices from different vendors to be able to communicate with each other.

  • renn9420

    This is great. The only drawbacks I see is the limitations of the handset and/or on the TV. Once this is a standard on all devices such as DVD players, gaming systems, home theater systems, then will most likely see interference from devices and thus bogging of performance.

  • kimminer1

    Sounds like the Jetsons

  • Paul

    My Galaxy S II has WiFi Direct in it’s settings and it’s running Android 2.3.6 w/ TouchWiz.

  • D’man

    Wow! I can wait for a year and pay $100 or do it today for free with my smartphone and Logitech Google TV.

  • JhonnyQ

    Anyone heard of bluetooth? :D

    • aranea

      Bluetooth needs more power than wi-fi. Plus tv’s will already come with wi-fi chips as they are smart now. Why add one more bluetooth chip in there while wi-fi is already part of the hardware?

  • Slith

    Sure will be fun at stores when it is inevitably cracked.

  • kinderdm

    This looks pretty great. I would love to also see this in other things as well such as my laptop for display mirroring or maybe even a second monitor. If were lucky maybe this could replace bluetooth all together.

    • Jon

      laptops have this. my HP dv6 connects to an adapter i bought for the tv. hopefully they’ll make this easier for phones because it was a bit annoying to set up on my laptop. i dont think the average user wants to be messing around trying different drivers.

  • vid500

    Great, this thing will be great, that makes the conectivity even easyer. I’m still fascinated how quck the technology developes, some things that were futuristic 10 years ago are now reality. Great.

  • classic_hero

    now I just need some money to buy a new phone and a tv with this technology and Ill be set

  • Lance

    The Nintendo Wii U will already be doing this when it launches later this year. Goto the footage of E3 last year. It showed people ‘throwing’ video content from the tablet control to the TV and back. Pretty neat!

  • http://www.nightshadelabs.com David Shellabarger

    “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.”

    I think this will BE the PC experience in the next 3-5 years. I don’t see any reason to have a full desktop when you have a phone that can power a large monitor and is powerful enough to run Photoshop.