MonthDecember 2019

Ultra Wideband (UWB) explained (and why it’s in the iPhone 11)

One of the new chips in this year’s crop of iPhones is the U1; it provides Ultra Wideband (UWB) connectivity that, in conjunction with Internet of Things (IoT) technology, could offer a myriad of new services for enterprises and consumers.

As Apple puts it, UWB technology offers “spatial awareness" – the ability for your phone to recognize its surroundings and the objects in it. Essentially, one iPhone 11 user can point his or her phone at another and transfer a file or photo.

While the technology isn't new, Apple’s implementation marks the first time UWB has been used in a modern smartphone.

What is Ultra Wideband?

UWB is a short-range, wireless communication protocol that – like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi – uses radio waves. But it differs substantially in that IT operates at a very high frequency. As its name denotes, it also uses a wide spectrum of several GHz. One way to think of it is as a radar that can continuously scan an entire room and precisely lock onto an object like a laser beam to discover its location and communicate data.

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