Following in the footsteps of Apple, Xiaomi has demonstrated a new technology that will allow gadgets to communicate with each other using short-range, high-bandwidth ‘Ultra Broad Band’ (UWB) radio waves in the 500MHz frequency range. Although wireless displays, routers, and other gadgets frequently use UWB technology for communication purposes, Xiaomi says it uses UWB technology to offer ‘spatial awareness’ to devices.
What it means is that Xiaomi uses UWB technology as an indoor GPS that could allow smartphones not only to determine the location of any device, but also its orientation relative to other devices in the room. This, says Xiaomi, helps your phone to judge what you’re pointing to. In addition, the company reported that UWB is superior to existing solutions used by wireless users and does not interfere with telecom carriers’ narrowband communication.
Xiaomi showed a Mi 10 handset that, thanks to an integrated UWB chip, an array of antennas, and Xiaomi’s in-house algorithm that allows it to communicate using UWB technology, could easily communicate with a series of IoT devices. The company claims that with the new technologies, it has been able to achieve ‘centimeter-level’ positioning precision and a ±3-degree angle measurement accuracy.
For such communications between the phone and various smart home devices, the wide bandwidth and pulse radio characteristics make UWB a great option. Xiaomi appears to be keen for the proposal to move forward. An idea worth pursuing is definitely the promise of controlling a bunch of IoT devices without the need for Bluetooth or internet access, so it will be fascinating to see if this technology will become popular in the coming days.