ESP8266 - direct control of wifi radio

Hey guys and girls,

So I'm wondering if anyone has or if it is possible to use the esp's radio for other functions besides the normal connecting to SSIDs and TCP/IP stuff?

I'm working on a project that uses 2 micro controllers; client and server.

The function
The client controller is just a button with a battery and changes a gpio pin state on the server via wireless that's hard wired in power.

I'd prefer the response time to be around 500ms or less. My current testing has the client connecting to an AP being hosted by the server around 1200ms.

I'm calling ESP.deepSleep(0); at the end of my function so I'm using RESET to wake the client up and connect.

I'd like to use the ESPs for future if I wanted to implement this setup to connect to wifi rather then just using another transceiver radio.

Thanks all!