[FoRK] [tt] [IP] Ultrawideband returns from the grave! This time as a location play

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Tue Oct 7 06:53:04 PDT 2014

----- Forwarded message from Dave Farber via ip <ip at listbox.com> -----

Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2014 14:12:47 -0400
From: Dave Farber via ip <ip at listbox.com>
To: ip <ip at listbox.com>
Subject: [IP] Ultrawideband returns from the grave! This time as a location play
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Dewayne Hendricks" <dewayne at warpspeed.com>
Date: Oct 6, 2014 1:32 PM
Subject: [Dewayne-Net] Ultrawideband returns from the grave! This time as a
location play
To: "Multiple recipients of Dewayne-Net" <dewayne-net at warpspeed.com>

Ultrawideband returns from the grave! This time as a location play.
By Stacey Higginbotham
Oct 6 2014

Zombie technology UWB returns from the dead in a slightly modified format
to offer incredibly granular location within a few inches for the internet
of things.

The dead walk among us, and they are apparently shipping silicon.
Ultrawideband, a radio technology that uses unlicensed spectrum to send
massive files short distances, is back in a slightly different form, hoping
this time to provide location data for the internet of things.
Ultrawideband or UWB, was pushed in the early aughts as a way to wirelessly
dock a monitor or TV to a computer, but because of infighting in the
standards-setting committee and international spectrum allocation issues,
it never got very far.

A half of dozen or so startups raised venture capital to build UWB chips
and most of those were sold off and the standard itself was taken over by
the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. But Decawave, a company based in
Dublin, Ireland is now using UWB tech to offer granular, indoor location
data. Decawave, which was formed in 2004 is set to ship about a million UWB
radios this year and hopes to hit the 5 million mark in 2015 according to
Mickael Viot, marketing manager at Decawave.

He claims that UWB can offer location data that is accurate within 10
centimeters to about 30 centimeters, which makes sense given that the
radios only transmit a signal a very short distance. Customers in the
industrial worldand automotive are already using the technology, and a
smart home customer is also looking at it to provide detailed tracking
information for lost items via a stick-on tag.

Using UWB can offer higher data rates than Bluetooth Low Energy, and Viot
claims that the modifications to the silicon that Decawave offers make for
a chip that is still power-efficient. Right now, the form factor for the
silicon is a bit large, but the next generation coming in 2015 will shrink
the silicon and packaging to a more consumer-friendly size.


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