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Bye Bye, Bluetooth?

Ah, Bluetooth. One of the most niftily-named technologies ever, it's never really fulfilled its potential. By now, we ought to all be listening to music on our phones using wireless Bluetooth headphones, printing wirelessly, and using Bluetooth remotes to open our cars (maybe). But we're not. Why? Because Bluetooth is really fiddly - both devices have to 'pair' with each other in a faffy process. Wireless has taken on in some areas, like keyboards, but they're just as likely to use 2.4GHz radio as Bluetooth, while wireless printing generally happens through a faffy wireless network.

But! Hope is round the corner, as a new technology - Wi-Fi Direct - looks set to displace Bluetooth and make connecting devices without messy wires a lot easier.

It's really not so much a new technology as an agreement on what existing technology will be used, but that doesn't matter. What's important is that a Wi-Fi Direct device will be able to talk to any existing Wi-Fi device - they don't have to be Direct enabled. So in other words, if you buy a Wi-Fi Direct printer next year, you'll be able to print wirelessly from your existing Wi-Fi laptop - or your phone! It doesn't matter whether or not you actually have Wi-Fi internet in your house.

This might all sound a bit geeky, but trust us, it'll be fabulous. Devices should be available early next year.

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