Today saw the public unveiling of the UWB Alliance, a global not-for-profit organization that will promote the Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology , which has been used to track assets for years.
At its creation, the Alliance counts key players from across major industry sectors and includes founding members such as Hyundai, Kia, Zebra, Decawave, Alteros, Novelda, and Ubisense.
"We are at a significant inflection point in the adoption of UWB. In recent years we have seen dramatic growth in implementations of UWB across a range of industries and geographies. However, that expansion is accelerating as we see the introduction of the next generation of UWB devices based on the draft IEEE 802.15.4z standard," said Tim Harrington, Chairman of the UWB alliance. "That means there is an increasing need for a unified face for the technology as well as increased efforts to ensure interoperability between devices. The Alliance will provide those and serve as a forum for collaboration across the industry."
The UWB Alliance's goals include the promotion of large-scale deployments of UWB technology; expand the UWB technology into new regions; support growth of UWB technologies through end-to-end, vendor-agnostic interoperability programs; and
provide a forum for collaboration across the UWB ecosystem.
The UWB Alliance has also tasked Tim Harrington, as Chairman and Executive Director, to lead the fast-paced growth of the group and drive the specification work.
The Alliance is working with government law makers and regulators to make progress on one of its key goals: ensuring effective interoperation and co-existence with other wireless standards. The IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee that oversees Local and Metropolitan Area networking standards including standards used by UWB and Wi-Fi has drafted and approved comments to the FCC 6 GHz NPRM expressing its recognition of the need for coexistence between UWB and Wi-Fi as the latter technology seeks to expand into the 6 GHz band. The committee has also requested the 802.19 coexistence Working Group work toward an effective resolution on the issue.
UWB is a unique radio technology that can use extremely low energy levels for short-range, high-bandwidth communications over a large portion of the radio spectrum. Devices powered by a coin cell can operate for a period of years without recharge or replacement. UWB technology enables a broad range of applications, from real-time locating and tracking, to sensing and radar, to secure wireless access, and short message communication.
The IEEE 802.15.4 standard which includes UWB technologies will be enriched to include enhancements developed by 802.15.4z Task Group. With a technological merge being agreed upon by multiple silicon vendors in concert with major consumer manufacturers of devices such as smart phones the new standard is expected to be published in the latter half of 2019.