When Apple announced the iPhone 11 Pro would be the very first smartphone to include an ultra-wideband (UWB) chip in 2019, consumers had no way of knowing what that actually meant for them. While UWB still may not have the same level of name recognition as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi just yet, don’t be surprised if it becomes more widely known in the coming months. As its benefits are more widely recognized, UWB is swiftly setting a new standard for Radio Frequency (RF) transmissions.
UWB is a short range radio transmission technology that was, until recently, typically used for military applications under the name of ‘pulse radio’. It has since found a new life powering indoor positioning and localization systems. Because of its high level of accuracy and the low profile of the hardware required to operate, UWB shines as the Real-Time Location System (RTLS) enabler of the future. It is exceptionally adept when it comes to asset tracking, enabling and supporting the cultivation of indoor intelligence.
UWB is often discussed in the context of asset tracking for warehouses - specifically how helpful it is for forklift tracking - but it also has an immense impact in a wide variety of public and private sectors, even in the most complex environments. Indeed, all signs in the industry point to the growing adoption of UWB by consumer and enterprise technology.
UWB technology will soon be as ubiquitous as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and with its inclusion in newer models of smartphones, it is likely that there will also be an increase in consumer-facing applications in the coming years as well. This is becoming more apparent as companies such as Apple have begun to open the technology up to developers to start building UWB-enabled solutions.
It is predicted that in 2022-2024, upon completion of IEEE 802.15 4z standard development which is used to combine sensors and actuators into a single wireless network, UWB technology will be more actively used in both mass market and in business solutions. Because of this, understanding and utilizing UWB is key to future-proofing your indoor solutions.
Kamran is a Product Marketing Manager at Inpixon. Fascinated by all things product, he loves diving into and experimenting with our own solutions and next-gen location technologies. When he’s not thinking about how indoor intelligence can address the challenges you face, he’s crossing a movie off his never ending list, reliving the Golden State Warriors championship run, or relaxing at the beach.