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Friday, 29 May 2009

Don’t believe the UWB rubbish

Paraphrasing the great Mark Twain, the rumours of UWB’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. I admit that I am lucky enough to have a set of contacts in the wireless industry that give me a bit of an advantage over the average, broadstroke tech journalist, but it does get my goat when I read the guff currently being distributed by a lot of august members of the technology press.

If we are to believe what the media is saying, UWB is dead or dying. Now, I admit that I am no engineer, and that my view is more commercially than bits’n’bytes -based, but this is just not the case. For all sorts of reasons of which I do have a sound-enough understanding, UWB has an important and valuable role to play in the medium and long-term high speed wireless market.

Why is UWB struggling, and why is it currently on the back foot? Well, there are various reasons, some relating to a shortage of funding for UWB companies that are within a frustratingly short time of shipping product out of the door. Others are political. One industry luminary, for example, puts the failure of UWB to make it into Bluetooth 3.0 squarely at the door of one other individual. Nobody wants to name names at the moment, though, so I have to sit on this one. Meanwhile, Wi-Fi proponents rub their hands.

One thing is for sure though. The remaining UWB companies have failed to keep the PR going. Nobody has been saying anything positive, and so it is no wonder that the media has made assumptions, jumped to conclusions, and has broadcast to the world that UWB is an ex-factor.

The passage of time could prove me wrong, but I believe that UWB/Wireless USB will succeed and I’m ready to eat my hat if it doesn’t happen. Real products are hitting the streets – the Leyio and other products in the June issue of Incisor - and that really is the proof of the pudding. And the UWB companies are waking up to the need to let the world know that they are still here. Staccato Communications was one of the original trailblazers, and it is with great pleasure that I welcome the San Diego company back as an Incisor sponsor. Read Staccato’s take on the UWB market in the June issue of Incisor.

My message? Don’t believe everything you read in the press. Unless it is in Incisor.

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