As you may have seen, today saw the public unveiling of the UWB Alliance, a global not-for-profit organization that aims to bring together the technology suppliers, developers and customers that make up the UWB industry. Decawave is proud to be a founding member of the Alliance, along with companies such as Hyundai, Kia, Zebra, Alteros, Novelda, and Ubisense.
The creation of the UWB Alliance really is a recognition of the recent rapid growth of UWB, and the need for the industry to come together, not only to promote new large-scale deployments of UWB technology, but to provide a forum for collaboration across the industry and give much needed support for the expansion of UWB into new geographies and for interoperability programs to ensure customers don’t face unnecessary roadblocks in their UWB roll-outs.
The UWB Alliance will be led by Tim Harrington, a long-standing and much respected leader in the space. Tim has other roles across the industry, but his leadership of the IEEE UWB working group is connected to the other big recent milestone for UWB – the approval of a draft specification for 802.15.4z (4z), the updated UWB standard that has been in discussion for some time.
The new 4z standard has been developed to meet the ever-increasing need for highly secure, high precision, location awareness and location services. Key among the applications enabled by the secure ranging technology in the 4z standard are highly secure wireless financial and access transactions and the ability to use precise location to combat malicious attacks that enable the hacking of wireless payments and the theft of modern motor vehicles.
Key changes in the 4z standards include:
- Totally secure ranging scheme thanks to a cyphered preamble and data frame
- The addition of higher data-rate modes up to 27Mbps with long range capability
- The backwards compatibility to the currently existing 15.4a standard (IEEE802.15.4-2015)
The building of the new 4z standard has been a joint, constructive and consensus driven effort actively involving mobile and automotive industry leaders, with Decawave acting as a force for proposals and driving the consensus process with support from key players. While the journey to new standards is always time-consuming, it looks likely the approvals process for the 802.15.4z standard will be completed during the first half of 2019. Congratulations to all those involved!