Say we have a router (capable of the 802.11 protocol standards) and some number of devices that are configured to communicate with this router. I have learnt about how devices/nodes use CSMA/CA to transmit data, and other mechanisms such as RTS/CTS & NAV, to help prevent collisions in the wireless medium.
However, I haven't been able to find an answer to a subtle issue. If one device intends to communicate with another device, then would it be possible (as per the 802.11 standard) for the devices to communicate directly with one another (assuming they are within each other's range)? Or would they still have to send packets via the router?
I just feel that a significant latency is introduced if the devices have data to send to each other, but have to still route packets through the router. The same CSMA/CA scheme could be used to coordinate transmissions between the devices directly.