updated 07:19 pm EDT, Tue August 28, 2012
Could be announced at September 12th event
Apple is preparing to announce a version of AirPlay that doesn't require people to connect to a Wi-Fi network first, says the Telegraph. The technology is said to be tentatively named "AirPlay Direct," and on track to debut at a widely-anticipated press event on September 12th. To stream audio under the new platform, people would just need Apple hardware and a compatible stereo or speaker system. Wi-Fi would still be involved, but without an intervening router.
Still unknown is whether Direct might work only for audio, or support video as well, as with the current incarnation of AirPlay. Video could place much higher demands on the kind of ad hoc connections Direct would require.
The Telegraph's sources suggest that the technology will show up alongside a next-generation iPhone, which most reports have said will be the focus of the event on the 12th. Other reports have pointed to iPod touch and nano updates as well, along with a frequently-rumored iPad mini.