UWB Anchor

Ultra-wideband, or UWB, is a short-range RF technology for wireless communication that can be leveraged to detect the location of people, devices, and assets with unrivaled precision. Like other communication protocols including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, UWB can be used to transmit data between devices through radio waves. It does so with short nanosecond pulses over an “ultra-wide” range of frequencies.

UWB technology uses billions of pulses of radio that are sent every couple of nanoseconds as a pattern across a wide frequency spectrum (at least 500 MHz or 20% of the center frequency). These signals are dispatched from a transmitter to a receiver, or amongst transceivers. The receiving device analyzes the incoming pattern and translates it into data. While this allows devices to quickly send data over short ranges, these UWB signals can also be used to accurately sense the location of devices. This makes it possible for UWB-enabled devices (like smartphones or sensors and anchors) to pinpoint a transmitting device, such as another smartphone or asset tracking tag, find its precise location, and in certain applications enable location-aware communication and services.

While recent adoption in next-gen smartphones and other technologies may make it seem like a new, cutting-edge technology, UWB has seen applied use for decades. In many years, its use was limited or restricted and most typically seen in military radar and communication applications, under the name “pulse radio”. In 2002, the FCC authorized its unlicensed use. Since that decision, UWB technology has seen great innovation and development that are beginning to unlock transformative location-based capabilities.

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