UWB: What it is and why Samsung and Apple think it will replace Bluetooth


Bluetooth is a technology present in Android phones, which can be taken advantage of in various ways. When we check the specifications of a phone and look at the connectivity section, we usually find them: Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS or NFC. Although some brands are starting to look for substitutes, as is the case with UWB.

Samsung has already made use of it on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Also, not only is Samsung showing interest in it, because other brands like Apple or Sony are also showing their interest in massively using UWB. You may have read something, but you don't know what these acronyms mean or what this technology refers to. Here's everything you need to know about UWB and its potential market presence.

What is UWB

UWB stands for ultra-wideband, known in Spanish as an ultra-wideband, which may sound like some of you. He is an old acquaintance in the world of wireless connection, who gradually seems to be preparing his return to the market, with a clear goal, as he seeks to replace Bluetooth.

UWB or ultra-wideband is the set of frequencies that use a bandwidth that is greater than 500 MHz, also, some connections use multiple GHz simultaneously. The main difference is that in this type of band, greater transmission capacity is provided than on Bluetooth connections, including Bluetooth 5.0.


Advantages over Bluetooth

We have already mentioned that it has a greater capacity to transmit data. Although it is not the only advantage that UWB presents over Bluetooth, because it also shows greater accuracy when calculating distances. It can position objects spatially more precisely, having a smaller margin of error than Bluetooth.

The reason it has greater accuracy is that it calculates the distance by measuring the flight time of the signal to the receiver. Also, it is one-way and can calculate the direction with an accuracy of 3 degrees. Thanks to this, it is presented as a perfect choice for indoor location devices.

Also, the UWB has a great capacity to transfer materials (in general, it also depends on other factors), allowing its coverage and radius of action to expand, as well as suffering from less interference. It is also more energy-efficient than Bluetooth, having a smaller impact on the battery life of devices.

Will it replace Bluetooth in the future?

On paper, the UWB has it all to replace Bluetooth, as we've seen. Although at the moment it's quite an unknown whether this is really going to happen or not. Currently, several brands are rated using this technology on their devices, Samsung already sees it as the technology of the future, having incorporated it into its Galaxy Note 20 Ultra a couple of months ago. Apple has also shown interest and others like Sony or Xiaomi would also have been interested.

There is interest from some big names in the industry, so this could result in more companies joining and boosting it, although this takes some time. We will have to see if in 2021 we see more phones that use it and if it manages to advance in the market.

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