These days, a lot of wired home appliances can be operated from a smartphone, but almost all of them go indirectly to it. Smartphones were able to communicate with these devices via a nearby Wi-Fi network or often with an Internet link, causing some congestion and making them dependent on a network link. An alternative solution, however, has been shown by Xiaomi, where phones can act more like traditional remote controls that use Ultra-Wideband technology instead of infrared light.
Ultra-wideband or UWB, not to be confused with Verizon’s 5G Ultra-wideband (UW) network, uses low-energy, short-range, high-bandwidth radio waves to transmit data. As in the case of the Xiaomi UWB, and higher, it uses a wide bandwidth beginning from 500 MHz and is mostly used for wireless displays, routers, and even handheld pocket printers because they do not interfere with contact between narrow band and carrier wave.
Xiaomi UWB, however, puts the technology to a slightly different use. It employs Ultra-wideband to give devices some spatial awareness, almost like an indoor GPS, to determine not only its position but even its orientation relative to other devices. In other words, it can be used to tell what you’re pointing your phone at.
The broad bandwidth and the features of the pulse radio make UWB a strong communication medium between devices. Xiaomi demonstrated in its demo how a Xiaomi Mi 10 could conveniently connect to a smart device and monitor it simply by pointing in its direction. No Internet connectivity via Bluetooth or roundabout is needed.
Smart Home: Complete Xiaomi Mi Home Ecosystem
Of course, this seemingly magical communication doesn’t happen by magic and Xiaomi UWB requires specific antenna and equipment to work. Needless to say, you might not come across this technology in the wider consumer markets any time soon but you can expect Xiaomi’s future smartphones and its wide range of smart home appliances to support this UWB tech eventually.