using UWB to find people in a crowd


If you were around in the 1990s or earlier, you’ll remember the lengths you had to go to meet someone at a specific location or find a missing item. You set up a time and a place either in person or on your landline phone and hoped nothing would cause a delay or confusion.

While we may sometimes revile technology, it does make our daily lives much easier. Thanks to Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth® we can access the internet, arrive at our destinations, and connect wirelessly to devices. While we all use these technologies daily, there’s always room for new, innovative, technologies like ultra-wideband (UWB). Even though they all have things in common, nothing offers the precision, and real-time experience like UWB when you’re trying to locate a person or item.

Find Someone

We’ve all been there. You’re at the airport hoping your ride can find you. Or you’re trying to find a friend in a crowd. Thanks to the technology behind UWB, you’ll soon be able to do this using a personal device like a phone or smartwatch. And it won’t matter if you’re inside or out, UWB can help you find them.

UWB has a larger bandwidth than other technologies and can more accurately find someone whether or not the area is crowded or cluttered. And since UWB has update rates of up to 1000 times per second and readings that are as much as 50 times faster than satellite navigation, you can find someone in real time. An added bonus – UWB uses indoor untracked navigation, so your identity is secure.

Find Something

UWB is the perfect technology to help people and companies find things. UWB-enabled personal devices and locator tags are already helping people find missing keys, luggage, and more. For manufacturers, hospitals, and other organizations, UWB anchors use tags to help locate both moving and stationary objects. This can range from forklifts and inventories to even employers that use the technology to keep employees safe on worksites or in warehouses. Real-time location systems are already being implemented globally to help companies improve optimization and enhance loss prevention.

Why Use UWB?

There are many benefits to using UWB compared to other technologies for finding items or people. As mentioned earlier, UWB offers centimeter-level accuracy using triangulation, so it’s extremely accurate even in cluttered indoor spaces. Because UWB uses very short pulses, reflections from nearby objects or surfaces near the signal’s path don’t overlap.

When it comes to locating an item within centimeters, this level of accuracy can translate into a business saving time and money by finding items quicker and easier. Since UWB tracking happens in real-time, the expediency and ease are amplified. UWB achieves real-time accuracy because it can send up to one billion pulses per second, about one per nanosecond. This level of accuracy is unmatched by any other wireless technology.

Also, UWB uses low power compared to other technologies, which enables power efficiency and a better battery life for devices. So, if you’re using UWB on a personal device like a phone or smartwatch, there’ll be less of a battery drain compared to what we’ve been used to.

All are excellent reasons to rely on UWB to help you locate whatever or whoever you’re trying to find.

Learn more about this and other FiRa use cases here.