Apple's "anti-lost" feast: decrypt UWB technology, how to rewrite the rules of positioning games?

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Apple's "anti-lost" feast: decrypt UWB technology, how to rewrite the rules of positioning games?

2022-01-24 18:03:07 37 ℃

Intellectual things (public number: zhidxcom)

Author | Cheng Qian

Edit | Xinyuan

Thief not scary thief culture.

April 2021, Apple introduced an "anti-lost artifact" AirTag at the spring conference, as long as the plug in this little discs at any objects, its location can be tracked in real time phone.

AirTag instant hit, and even some derived completely opposite purpose. For example, there are thieves to target AirTag hidden in the vehicle or owner who stole the car waiting in the wings; owners can also use AirTag position locked car to help police catch criminals.

Behind the various tracking and anti-tracking of drama, UWB technology is the key secret weapon. This was originally a small minority of wireless communications technology suddenly become a hot concept, popular science and technology began to ring.

Full name ultra-wideband UWB (Ultra Wide Band), is used in short-range wireless communication and location tracking and other fields. With Apple AirTag detonated UWB consumer market, Google, millet, Samsung, OPPO mobile phone manufacturers such as BMW, Volkswagen, Tesla and other auto makers have introduced the technology.

Can easily control lights, locks and other smart home devices, also allows UWB-based technology, mobile phone or watch phone turned the car keys, just walked over to the car can be unlocked, start easy, "keyless", "No password "......

On the one hand, consumers are convenient for this "anti-lost" Black & full of praise, UWB capital also began to flock to the track; on the other hand, how to avoid becoming crime the technology tools to ensure the privacy of public safety, It is increasingly becoming a hot topic.

UWB technology is so favored by the technology giant, in the end how to develop potential? When the track network throughout the streets, people will not live in a world in real-time monitoring of live tracks?

First, the perception of interior space, to achieve centimeter-level positioning

When it comes to positioning, our first thought is that Baidu map, Google maps, global positioning systems, which can be viewed in real time navigation route or location coordinates.

But now commonly used positioning technology with a different, UWB technology is a high-precision positioning technology, location tracking may be used indoors, to achieve centimeter accurate position sensing, identifying and tracking accurate spatial perception and short positions.

And Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 5G cellular standards, as this technology is not a proprietary technology giants, it is more like a basic communications infrastructure. Remove Apple, Samsung and other Internet giants, the domestic refined-bit technology, easy to Paterson, Han Wei Microelectronics and a few other players have also introduced a product based on this technology.

UWB technology is a new wireless communications technologies, the impact can be direct modulation pulse having very steep rise and fall time, a signal having a bandwidth of the order of GHz. Reflected in the performance, UWB technology has a strong anti-interference, higher transmission rate (tens to hundreds of Mbps), greater system capacity, a shorter communication distance and so on.

From the positioning point of view, this technology has the two-way ranging, triangulation, multilateration three localization way. With this technique before positioning, it will set the first beacon to identify the position of an object by measuring the time between a radio wave beacon device and the desired transmission.

UWB technology positioning requires two-way dialogue between the smart phone's internal UWB chips and other devices, it's a bit like the Global Positioning System (GPS) uses Google Maps, but GPS positioning is used to listen to the receiver from the satellite to the Earth one-way transmission.

Small beacon provided in the positioning process, e.g. AirTag about $ coin put together four and a half as large, and is mounted on the sustainable use of a battery for several years. However, this technology requires the installation positioning several such nearby beacon in order to transmit the location information is accurate.

Second, the mobile handset keys, access cards, vehicle remote start

Although UWB technology is still in the early stages of development, but many applications have been endless.

2019 release iPhone 11, 2020 release of Apple Watch Series 6 and subsequent series models are equipped with Apple since the inquiry U1 ultra-wideband chip, as well as Google, Samsung, millet, OPPO and other companies introduced new phones, have a microchip or other forms to achieve this functionality.

UWB technology-based smart phones can replace direct payments wallet, can also replace access cards.

Laptop equipped with this technology can also be used to identify the user is sitting in front of it by listening to a smart phone or intelligent signal watch. Global UWB standards FiRa members of the Alliance, Facebook parent company Meta Reality Lab (Reality Labs) researcher Ada Van Trani (Ardavan Tehrani), said: "It can automatically log on to any service user is authorized to use, in password on the coffin and nailed a nail. "

In addition to mobile phone manufacturers, automobile manufacturers have tried to end "key era."

Daniel Knobloch, BMW Wireless Engineer and CCC, said that a chip compatible with the UWB technology can determine the location within one centimeter. The organization has incorporated this technology into the standards identified in May 2021, and you can start the car through your smartphone. Many newer cars have key-key entered systems, but the function based on UWB technology is still in the early stages of development. The new standard of the automobile online alliance allows the smartphone based on the UWB chip to unlock the car, and the user can unlock the phone can be unlocked within a certain range of the car.

This function can also be transferred to other mobile phones due to access to your car through your smartphone. In this case, multiple users can more conveniently use the same car, just click on the links or other texts in the email, you can turn another phone into "key", truly "keyless" car .

Another potential application for UWB technology is to make smart home easier, Germany iOS developers Bastian Andelefski, have shown its potential. In November 2021, the Andigvsky released a video on YouTube. In the video, he put the iPhone to the smart light bulb in the family, and it can turn it on or off, without opening the corresponding application. The program will select the bulb.

The Anevski said: "Complete this work is both expensive and complicated. If more and more companies can install beacons, UWB technology can be applied to consumers earlier."

It is true that the application of UWB technology must be embodied in the smart device. Assistant Professor Dinsh Bharadia, Assistant University of California, DINESH Bharadia, announced a study in September 2021, which has developed a new type of beacon that allows this positioning technology. The recognition speed is increased by approximately 10 times, and the amount of power consumed will also be reduced accordingly.

Moreover, the resulting improvement only requires software updates to existing smartphones using UWB, and does not require additional new devices. The new beacons developed by this study can locate an object every millisecond, which further expand its application scenario. In the future, the positioning of this technology may be able to track VR and AR devices in real time, robots and other automation equipment, pets and livestock, warehouses, and anything else allowed to connect to UWB devices.

Third, real-time "broadcast" location update, user privacy protection?

The application scenario of UWB technology is so rich, but the Paladia warned: "This doesn't mean it will be used."

Braidia raised an example, once a app claims to provide users with indoor navigation or find the correct position in the supermarket, but there is no success. There are two reasons, but they have no relationship with technology. First, the indoor map produced is lower; second, there is already enough labels in the supermarket, and users may think that the label is more convenient than opening the phone.

In addition, the third cause of indoor positioning techniques may fail is privacy.

The Anevsky discovered that when using Apple's own UWB technology, the iPhone's software and hardware will limit the developer's visit through a variety of ways. He believes that Apple's approach is to protect user privacy and protect the user's location. data.

Apple spokesperson said: "Privacy is how the Apple is based on how to work and how developers use its 'key consideration'." In order to safeguard user privacy, Apple takes only after unlocking to use this technology. Function, the application cannot track the location of the user in the background.

Even so, recently reported that some people use Airtag to track the car and the owner before stealing the car.

Global ultra-wideband technical standards formulate Fira members, Mickey Mickael Viot, Director of the US Semiconductor, Qorvo Business Development, said: "UWB is implementing more accurate location data, how to protect data depends on Apple, Google and other companies. "

Conclusion: UWB technology or more accurate in metacular positioning technology

Real-time long-distance communication, complex photography functions, real-time health monitoring, high frame rate gaming screens, etc., UWB technology may be slightly negligible, but UWB's potential is its connection to other technologies. Just like unpredictable 3G communications and pre-camera will promote social procedures Snapchat, smartphones will change our social way, it is difficult to say how much this technology will bring to our lives.

Now that it can see is just a replacement of car keys and passwords, but in the case of a fire in the Yuancai concept, this technology is likely to be an important part, such as helping smart glasses to identify us in real life. Location, etc.

The application scenario of UWB technology may be further enriched in the future, but these devices that continuously broadcast our location will protect privacy.

Source: Wall Street Mail