September 2nd, 2012, 11:01 PM
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Application specific wi-fi connection
I'm an electronic engineer (which entails a lot of C programming, although I have done my share of Java). Some engineering friends and I recently had an idea for the "Next Big Thing" and we're now investigating the feasibility but have identified a potentially deal breaking problem.
Our idea centres around a hardware device which presents a wireless access point to which smartphones and tablets connect to do some stuff (yes, the "stuff" is a deliberately vague description). Android devices (haven't yet researched how iOS devices work yet, since I'm an Android user) treat their network connections with a priority based mechanism, so wi-fi connections are used for internet access whenever one is available/connected.
The thing is though that our device won't provide an internet connection, so while devices are connected to it they will have no internet access. So what we need is the ability for a single App to create a wi-fi connection to the device while the rest of the phone and all other apps continue to use the cellular network.
Is this kind of thing possible without extreme hacking/rooting? For our idea to work it's important that the user is still able to do all of their usual social networking and related things while they are connected to our device. I have studied the Android Wi-Fi APIs and it doesn't look promising, but I hope there may be alternative APIs.
Thanks in advance; any help is much appreciated!