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Future prospect of UWB Technology

Release date:2021-12-28Author source:KinghelmViews:771

Ultra wideband technology (UWB) will be popularized on a large scale in the world. At present, UWB has been deployed in more than 40 vertical markets, including industrial, enterprise, automobile and consumer markets. In the currently implemented applications, UWB has improved operation efficiency and employee safety in many industries. It also supports secure transactions such as car keyless access control and new applications based on personnel and object location tracking.

In this chapter, we will review the deployment of UWB in the mobile phone field and how this situation makes UWB popular rapidly. We will also explore how industry alliances can promote the rapid popularization of UWB in the world, and study some forward-looking use cases using UWB functions.

Applying UWB technology to smart phones

Recently, the introduction of UWB technology into the field of smart phones is a key step in the large-scale popularization of UWB in the world. Smart phones themselves are a major market, with annual shipments of more than 1.3 billion. Therefore, smart phones will be the entry point for the wide popularization of UWB in people's daily life, and help to realize activities such as car access control, retail transaction and home control, as shown in Figure 3-1. UWB mobile phones will trigger the development of various new equipment and application ecosystems, which can not be realized by other technologies.

Predicting the exact future of UWB deployment is extremely difficult, but history can provide us with some possible trajectory clues. For example, Wi Fi was originally a wireless communication solution specifically for cash registers. In 1999, Apple's recognition of Wi Fi was a strong support, which made the technology popular rapidly. This has also stimulated the development of various equipment ecosystems and triggered a network effect, resulting in billions of units shipped each year. The success of Bluetooth is similar: Bluetooth was used in hands-free calls of mobile phones and cars in the early stage, which eventually led to the large-scale adoption of many applications and markets.

UWB has also experienced the same market penetration, as shown in Figure 3-2. The explosive growth in shipments of mobile phones, wearable products and connected home devices may be faster than that of Wi Fi and Bluetooth. Some even predict that its shipment volume will exceed 1 billion in the next few years.

联盟和合作伙伴如何帮助普及 UWB

Interoperability (the ability of different suppliers' products, systems, applications and services to work reliably and predictably) is another key factor in the large-scale adoption of new technologies. Interoperability is critical because every user wants their electronic devices to be easily connected and operated. Different participants in the UWB industry, from semiconductor suppliers to equipment manufacturers and test equipment suppliers, have begun to address interoperability requirements.

Major alliances committed to ensuring UWB product interoperability include:

  • UWB} Alliance( https://uwballiance.org ): UWB alliance is cooperating with global regulators and organizations to create a favorable regulatory and spectrum management environment and fully promote the growth of UWB market. The UWB alliance is also involved in spectrum sharing optimization to minimize interference from other new and existing standards.

  • Car networking Alliance (CCC) https://carconnectivity.org ): CCC is a cross industry organization dedicated to promoting global technology for smart phone to car connectivity solutions. CCC includes many stakeholders, such as automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), primary suppliers, mobile phone manufacturers, semiconductor suppliers and application developers. CCC is developing "digital key", a new open standard that allows smart devices such as smart phones and smart watches to be used as car keys. Using this standardized ecosystem, mobile devices can store, verify and share the digital key of UWB vehicles in a privacy protected and secure way wherever they are.

  • Fira Alliance (www.firaconsortium. ORG): Fira represents precision ranging, emphasizing the unique ability of UWB technology to provide unprecedented accuracy and security in measuring target distance or determining location. As an industry alliance, Fira believes that UWB technology will change the way people experience connection, and is committed to the wide popularization of UWB applications. As shown in Figure 3-3, many use cases are expected in the Fira alliance. These use cases include inductive access control, indoor positioning and navigation, and point-to-point applications.

These organizations are working together to create protocols to ensure communication between cars and mobile phones, mobile phones and door locks, and mobile phones and positioning infrastructure.

UWB future outlook

Thanks to the creativity and talent of engineers and entrepreneurs, Wi Fi and Bluetooth have realized a wide range of services and applications, which is unexpected. Based on the multifaceted value of UWB described in this book, we can foresee the arrival of new applications and services, which cannot be realized with existing technologies.

As shown in Figure 3-4, the smart home supported by UWB includes:

  • The door that opens automatically when you get home

  • An alarm that closes when you enter the door without hitting the keyboard

  • A personal assistant who knows you enter your home and provides you with personalized information

  • When you walk between different rooms, your favorite music melody will follow you like a shadow and switch to the corresponding speaker

  • Turn on the lighting according to your preferred settings

  • A wireless node that can remind you not to forget to bring your netball bag when you go out

There is great potential to create a real smart home environment! 


Personal navigation

Imagine how UWB can change the building navigation experience. Have you ever struggled to find specific goods in the store? Find a meeting room in the company? Find friends in the crowd? Or find a taxi waiting in line at the airport? UWB can accurately guide you to your destination and will end all these unpleasant and sometimes stressful experiences.

 When UWB is combined with augmented reality (AR), you don't have to try to judge your exact location and direction according to the map orientation in the smartphone. UWB can cover and display your exact location and correct direction with the real world. 


Site delivery

Another great application is on-site delivery. I feel hungry in the mall, but I'm not in the mood to walk to the food Square? Place an order with your mobile phone and continue shopping. No matter where you go, you can deliver delicious food to you!


Secure transaction

Another area where UWB may change the way we interact with the environment is seamless and secure transactions. For example, public transport has made great progress in realizing convenient payment: now it is usually possible to pay with a traffic card or mobile phone without using cash or tickets.

Just imagine, is it more convenient if you can pay automatically without taking out your mobile phone from your pocket and clicking on the payment card reader? In this way, queuing and waiting in crowded subway stations will become history. Similarly, the waiting time in the automatic checkout line in the store can be shortened because you no longer need to take out your mobile phone to pay!

The potential of UWB is endless. Although we can't imagine all the applications in the future, it is certain that an engineer will design a new generation of products in the future to make our life better again.

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