Getting Started Quickly with SPARK UWB for IoT Sensors: Introducing SPARK’s New Wireless Sensor Kit

  • June 15, 2022



In our recent blog post focused on UWB’s benefits for sustainability, we looked forward to a future of extremely energy efficient UWB-based IoT sensor devices that forego batteries – and the attendant maintenance, cost and environmental problems – and instead leverage energy harvesting technologies to source their own powerfrom free and abundant energy sources like sunlight, heat, vibration and wind.

This revolution in sensing technology – sensors with no wires or batteries – is within our grasp thanks in part to innovations like SPARK UWB that deliver extreme energy efficiency – 40X better than legacy Bluetooth – to significantly reduce overall sensor power requirements. It’s advancements like these that have caught the attention of leading foundations like Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), who are actively investing in SPARK Microsystems to help achieve sustainability goals like these that were once thought impossible (you can read more about this collaboration over at BetaKit).

Though these advancements are somewhat off on the horizon, SPARK is working hard behind the scenes to make this vision a reality. Meanwhile, UWB has exciting things in store for IoT sensors today.


At the upcoming Sensors Converge event (San Jose, CA, June 27 – 29), SPARK will be on hand to highlight the many advantages that UWB delivers for sensor applications compared to legacy short-range wireless platforms like Bluetooth. For Smart Factory and Smart Home apps, among others, wireless sensors are proving increasingly advantageous.  Low power consumption in particular enables greater deployment and maintenance flexibility when compared to BLE based sensors.  SPARK UWB also allows higher data throughput and low latency for these wireless sensors.

But the UWB advantages don’t stop there. UWB also opens the door to high-precision positioning and ranging capabilities – provided this can be achieved with minimal power consumption. Whereas others in the UWB chip market may struggle to meet this low power requirement, SPARK’s advanced UWB implementation excels in this dimension.

This is hugely beneficial for the myriad industrial, smart city/building/home and AI applications on the horizon that will require UWB-caliber, high-speed sensing and communication among sprawling networks of battery-powered wireless sensors – many of them mobile. In the immediate short term, UWB can deliver major benefits for industrial and warehouse management apps where precision asset tracking and location tagging are essential. UWB-based sensors make it easier than ever before to precisely locate and track warehouse bins, UVs, equipment and other mobile assets in real time.

Likewise, advanced positioning and ranging capabilities also make it possible to more quickly locate UWB based sensors for battery replacement and/or maintenance, compared to legacy wireless sensors. No more time wasted combing through the entire sensor network searching for individual sensors like needles among haystacks.


For Sensors Converge attendees eager to get started with UWB immediately, SPARK will be demonstrating our new Wireless Sensor Kits (WSKs) through our direct sales force.  This extreme low power and compact reference module – just 40mm X 40mm – houses multiple sensors (optical, gyroscope, motion sensors/accelerometers) and leverages a SPARK SR1020 UWB transceiver for point-to-point sensor applications.  This kit comes with software examples and necessary information for customers to design sensor modules specific to their own applications.

What kinds of energy efficiency advantages might a sensor designer expect to see with a SPARK UWB Wireless Sensor Kit in their own lab? By way of example, in the low power ranging demo, the module consumes less than 50uW in active mode, a clear demonstration of SPARK UWB power efficiency.

Sensors Converge attendees are invited to visit with us at booth #326 to connect with our onsite experts to see the SPARK UWB Wireless Sensor Kit in action, and order one for themselves. Won’t be at the show? Interested designers can contact us to request WSK units, available to qualified customers.

We look forward to seeing you at the Sensors Converge event, where we’ll showcase the many ways SPARK UWB can outperform legacy Bluetooth sensors for the next generation of IoT sensors.