We know by heart the wireless connections that mobile phones use to transfer data from the inside to the outside, and vice versa. The NFC, which could be considered as the newest system, has been with us since 2003, when it was approved as a standard, although it would not be seen in devices until 2008. Be that as it may, between 17 and 13 years of the last novelty.
However, it seems that there are already several manufacturers trying to resurrect an old acquaintance of the world of wireless connections, the ultrawideband or ‘ultra wideband’, also known by its acronym, UWB. Apple, Samsung, Sony or Xiaomi put part of their investment efforts in it. But the question is, what for? To replace Bluetooth.
Better than Bluetooth in practically everything
The rise of connected devices that surround us every day is pushing the leading companies in the market to seek more efficient solutions at the energy level and powerful when transmitting data. Hence it is being sought revive the ultra-wide band, which had been stored in a drawer for almost two decades and again seems to be relevant.
There are already several companies investing resources in developing and improving the UWB
It is known as ultra-wideband or UWB when set of frequencies that use a bandwidth greater than 500 MHz, and there are connections that even use several GHz simultaneously. In comparison, Bluetooth 5.0 connections use 40 channels of 2MHz each. That is, 80Mhz. As we can see, the transmission highway for the ultra-wide bands is much higher.
To place ourselves with real examples, while with Bluetooth we can transmit data at about 2Mbps (with Bluetooth 5.0), with the ultra-wide band we can reach speeds of up to 1.6Gbps at a very short distance, and up to 110Mbps at 10 meters away. Under minimal connectivity conditions, UWB transmits up to 27Mbps, roughly 14 times faster than Bluetooth.
In addition to having a greater capacity to transmit data, the ultra-wide bands show greater precision when it comes to spatially locating objects and calculating distances. Bluetooth has a margin of error of approximately one meter while the UWB moves in margins of error of about 10 centimeters. The reason, which calculates the distance by measuring the flight time of the signal to the receiver. It is also unidirectional (Bluetooth 5.1 is already too) and can calculate the direction with an accuracy of 3 degrees. All this makes the UWB ideal for indoor location devices, such as ‘tags’ that we can place on key rings and other objects.
Other advantages of UWB over Bluetooth reside in its high capacity to transfer materials (although this depends on many more factors), thus expanding its radius of action and coverage, or the low generation of interference of radio they produce. In addition, UWBs are more energy efficient and we have a very effective wireless communications technology on our hands that could, if the market decided to do so, replace Bluetooth forever. Apple, Samsung, Sony and Xiaomi are several of the companies that value trying. We will see what happens in the future.