Apple’s UWB Support to Help Propel the Technology into the Mainstream

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By Andrew Zignani | 4Q 2019 | IN-5625


Apple Quietly Releases UWB Support to iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro Devices


Though much of the talk about the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro has centered on their new “ultra-wide” camera, perhaps the most exciting and innovative development was their inclusion of the U1 Ultra-Wideband (UWB) chipset, making the iPhone 11 first smartphone to market with UWB technology. Apple has stated that the new Apple-designed UWB U1 chip will leverage the technology to determine an iPhone’s precise location in relation to other UWB-equipped Apple devices. In terms of use cases, to date, Apple has only explicitly announced that its AirDrop feature on U1-capable devices will take advantage of this additional precision to determine if another U1 device is nearby, allowing an iPhone user to point at another iPhone to put it at the top of the AirDrop list. However, Apple is also heavily rumored to be developing its own personal tracking tags leveraging UWB technology. It is not yet clear whether Apple’s UWB capabilities will be locked in to Apple’s own devices, features, and apps, or if the tech…

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