DisplayLink announced today that it has partnered with Alereon to deliver wireless USB displays. DisplayLink specializes in using USB2 as an efficient means for hooking multiple displays to the same computer without requiring an investment in multiple video cards. Releasing a wireless USB monitor is quite a step for DisplayLink—the company's wired USB2 display technology was released less than a year ago—and it may prove more popular than the company's current system, which requires either a DirectLink-enabled monitor (at a price premium) or an RGB-USB2/DVI-USB2 adapter that apparently sells for around $90.
According to DisplayLink, there will be no performance penalty for using a wireless monitor, and displays will function at resolutions of up to 1680×1050 at 16.7 million colors. The actual wireless USB chip is produced by Alereon—that's where the partnership comes in—but both companies seem confident that they can deliver a high-quality visual experience without noticeable tear or artifacts. DisplayLink's products aren't suitable for gaming or other functions that depend on split-second reaction times, but the company claims that DVD playback is flawless, even over its new wireless USB2 technology.
By all accounts, DisplayLink's current wired USB2 technology works quite well at resolutions of up to 1600×1200, and a wireless solution could definitely increase the concept's attractiveness, particularly in system deployments where space is at a premium. DisplayLink hasn't stated how, exactly, monitors will interface with its wireless system. Ideally, the company could offer a small transmitter/receiver unit that plugs into a monitor's DVI cable, with a similar device hooked into the back of the computer. If that's not possible, end users will have to pony up for a display that specifically incorporates the DisplayLink/Alereon wireless technology at a price premium.