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UWB Real Time Location Tracking: IoT Solutions

  • Akansha Sharma
  • Oct 09, 2023
  • RFID
UWB Real Time Location Tracking: IoT Solutions

“UWB is a prominent real-time positioning IoT solution that is used in location tracking of objects, keyless entry systems, secure vehicle authentication, smart home applications, and precise vehicle positioning.”

There are plenty of reasons to get excited about various upcoming technologies because technologies are improving human interactions and enhancing user experiences. Technologies like UWB are evolving our present by automating various daily life tasks, providing us security with a real-time surveillance system, and helping us save time with real-time positioning.  As an  IoT (Internet of Things) solution, UWB (ultra-wideband) is gaining popularity every day. 

UWB is a key RLTS (Real Time Location System) technology that provides various solutions like asset tracking, supply chain management, and real-time navigation support, implementing this technology with IoT can provide solutions to our daily life challenges. The concept of an interconnected device will continue to improve its capabilities with the re-emergence of UWB technology. This technology will play an important role in improving the performance of IoT in the future. UWB can help various IoT applications in the market that require real-time location tracking and environmental awareness.

UWB and IoT

UWB is a popular positioning technology that uses radio waves to establish communication between two devices. Once two UWB-supported devices initialize to establish a connection with each other, they use ToF (time-of-flight) measurements from response packets sent between the two devices. This process helps in locating the precise location of the device. It will help in calculating the distance between two devices that can work from a fixed or mobile device.

This technology requires fixed anchors so that a UWB can calculate the position of devices within the area of its coverage. These could be placed in the corners of the factory or warehouse to monitor the activities. It is a popular IoT technology, gaining quick traction with smartphone manufacturers as well.

What is IoT?

An IoT system consists of main components such as processors, sensors, actuators, and communication hardware to collect, send, and act on data they acquire from environments.

IoT shares the sensor data with an IoT gateway, data that was collected from the environment. The gateway acts as a central hub where a sensor can send data. Then, it comes to analyzing part of the data, where the data will go through a reduction process locally before being transferred to a cloud service. Which will help in minimizing bandwidth consumption.

IoT offers several benefits to various organizations, such as monitoring the overall process of business, improvements in customer experiences, saving time and money, productivity improvement, enabling better decision-making, etc.

UWB and IoT Go Hand in Hand

As an IoT technology, UWB offers several application benefits in various business domains such as automobile, smarthome automation, retail, education, etc. Unlike BLE, UWB offers high data transmission rate and accurate real-time positioning of objects over a short range.

1. Location and Tracking System

2. Smart Homes and Environment

3. Automotive and Transportation

4. Access control system

5. Healthcare sector

6. Retail sector 

1. Location and Tracking System: UWB enables high accuracy in tracking the position of objects precisely, whether the objects are in indoor or outdoor conditions. It provides more accurate results in direction and low-latency positioning. Smartphones with UWB-enabled technology are capable of tracking items such as keys, wallets, and other personal items.

Both Apple and Samsung use UWB technology, as Apple AirTags and Samsung Galaxy Smart Tags have capabilities to allow easy device tracking.

2. Smart Homes and Environment: It can also enhance the capabilities of smart home devices. With UWB-enabled IoT devices, we, as consumers, can enjoy the advantages of automation in our daily lives. These solutions will efficiently monitor what devices and how much energy is required to use according to changes in the environment. It can enable seamless interaction with devices and improve user experiences. For example, turning on or off the light in a room, monitors the movement and location when a person enters or exits is the same as with other electric appliances like a fan, AC, or TV.

3. Automotive and Transportation: UWB technology will ensure secure communication and real-time location differences between vehicles to help IoT applications. It can enhance road safety by enabling an autonomous driving system with higher accuracy to drive smoothly in traffic conditions.

4. Access Control System: UWB can work as an advanced digital key that will regulate access control. It will work seamlessly without any human interaction; It can authenticate the person's identity with the help of security credentials, and permission to access a particular location will depend upon their credentials. IoT-enabled devices like CCTV cameras can monitor the activity, and UWB technology will capture the location details of a person.

5. Healthcare sector: The use of wearable technology has increased in the healthcare industry. This will grant accurate monitoring of patients from the comfort of their homes. There are three main groups in the application of healthcare: identification, location, and communication technology.
 Identification technology will help in identifying the conditions of patients by exchanging their data between healthcare providers and patients. Communication technology will help in establishing communication between doctors according to the current situation, and location technology will help in tracking medical devices, medical staff, and patients.

6. Retail sector: In the retail sector, UWB-enabled IoT devices can transform the inventory management system by providing the exact location of products in retail stores. It will reduce the condition of out-of-stock items and help retailers secure them from theft. It will enhance the overall shopping experience for retailers and customers.

 To conclude, UWB in IoT can improve precision and connectivity between devices, they will help automate various daily life activities. They offer solutions to various sectors, by making our lives more convenient, securing us from possible threats, and helping us enhance our overall productivity.

Frequently Asked Questions?

 Q1) What is UWB, as an IoT?

 Ultra-wideband (UWB) is a wireless communication technology that works on precisely locating and tracking the item or even humans. It also helps IoT by providing highly accurate location data for IoT-enabled devices. It will reduce the chances of failure or other possible errors in ongoing real-time operations.

 Q2) What is the security concern when using UWB and IoT?

First, both technologies have some basic security features. UWB uses IEEE 802.15.4 and TOF (time-of-flight) techniques to determine positions, which adds a new layer to its security system. On the other hand, IoT uses secure communication protocols to streamline intercommunication between two devices, including network security, cloud security, device security, application security, and end-to-end security. They are still vulnerable to different cyberattacks, which can be fixed by encryption and authentication to protect UWB and IoT systems from unauthorized access or tampering.

Q3) How does UWB RLTS work?

It consists of two types of hardware: signal transmitter which is known as Tags, and entities which are used to receive signals and also to track items known as anchors, which receive signals from tags.

UWB tags are small electronic devices attached to an object or item individually that need to be tracked. These tags work as a transmitter, which continuously transmits the signal that is received by anchors and they forward received signals to the location server for calculating the distance.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

  • Created on Oct 09, 2023

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