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Wifi Direct Between 2 Surface RT's RRS feed

  • Question

  • Basically I have 2 Surface RT's and I am trying to create a simple Ping Pong game (as a test example) that will play between the both of them. I Have looked at the Windows 8.1 SDK documents and example code for Wifi Direct but it does not show any information related to the actual "Pairing" process you would do between the 2 Surfaces. I have also tried to go into the Control Panel -> PC and Devices -> Devices and tried to "Add a Device" which also does not find any other Surface tablets or windows 8 devices on my local network. It DOES however find my Xbox-SystemOS (XBOX ONE) device on the network which pushing content to that works from all tablets and pc's in my home.

    1) So to sum this up how does one "wifi direct" pair surfaces with each other via code or in the control panel?

    2) Do they need to re-pair every time they are close to each other and want to play said game?

    3) Should I just cop out of the Wi-Fi Direct completely and try to achieve this with good old Bluetooth?

    I have done a good deal of Socket programming in C++ and .NET so I can imagine what the next steps are once I have WiFi direct working between the 2 devices.

    Thanks in advanced for any input ..

    Saturday, December 28, 2013 9:21 PM

Answers

  • Hi John,

    From the app's point of view the simple protocol is the PeerFinder. This will set up the best connection available to the devices without the app needing to be specific.

    Because Windows 8 and 8.1 are available on a wide variety of devices (including legacy hardware) they cannot depend on any specific device supporting specific protocols. Windows 8 supports WiFi Direct, but not Bluetooth serial. Windows 8.1 adds significant Bluetooth support. Windows Phone 8 devices are more consistent and all should support Bluetooth, but not WiFi Direct.

    That said, further search suggested that Surface RT does support WiFi Direct (I was looking at a Wireless Display article). Again though, for details on Surface RT please post in the Surface RT forum.

    --Rob

    Thursday, January 2, 2014 9:55 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi John,

    There is no programmatic pairing API. That needs to be done at a system level. Ask in the Surface or Windows RT forums on http://answers.microsoft.com for details and help, but from a quick search it looks like the Surface RT may not support Wifi Direct and so wouldn't be able to pair over that interface.

    The app doesn't need to explicitly choose between WiDi and Bluetooth (and Infrastructure): use the PeerFinder and let it do the negotiation, then use the socket it returns.

    --Rob

    Sunday, December 29, 2013 8:18 PM
    Moderator
  • Why would the Surface RT being a Windows 8.1 Device not Support this. I hate to say it but this is a very large problem if it is true. Their should be a simple protocol that works across Windows Phone, Windows RT, Windows 8 that allows users to "discover" and "pair" with each device. Think Nintendo DS .. my son can be in a restaurant and discover other kids to play his games with without needing to do anything .. burying it in the system control panel is also a design flaw and should be remedied no end user is going to understand this.

    Anyways here's to hoping to see this coming in 2014.

     
    Thursday, January 2, 2014 5:20 PM
  • Hi John,

    From the app's point of view the simple protocol is the PeerFinder. This will set up the best connection available to the devices without the app needing to be specific.

    Because Windows 8 and 8.1 are available on a wide variety of devices (including legacy hardware) they cannot depend on any specific device supporting specific protocols. Windows 8 supports WiFi Direct, but not Bluetooth serial. Windows 8.1 adds significant Bluetooth support. Windows Phone 8 devices are more consistent and all should support Bluetooth, but not WiFi Direct.

    That said, further search suggested that Surface RT does support WiFi Direct (I was looking at a Wireless Display article). Again though, for details on Surface RT please post in the Surface RT forum.

    --Rob

    Thursday, January 2, 2014 9:55 PM
    Moderator
  • As a mild correction: in 8.0, PeerFinder can indeed open a Bluetooth socket (but there weren't other APIs for it).  In 8.1, any developer can open a Bluetooth socket

    Network Developer Experience Team (Microsoft)

    Monday, January 13, 2014 7:44 PM