Holiday Shopping with a “UWB Engineer”

  • December 15, 2021



Well it’s that time of year again. The holidays are fast approaching, and your humble UWB engineer is, ahem, “multitasking” between meetings and trying to get some holiday shopping done. Let’s look over their shoulder and get inside their mind a bit, shall we? This could be fun!

You peruse your family’s wish lists slowly with a sense of apprehension, because you already know what’s coming. Electronic gadgets atop every list, each designed to wirelessly immerse them in entertainment and rich media at the speed of Bluetooth.

Which isn’t very fast. And that’s the whole problem.

You – the humble UWB engineer!* – know that the next generation of wireless gadgets will be much, much better than what’s available today. You want to make the family happy and abide by their wish listed desires, but at the same time you’re not really psyched about investing in a bunch of turn-of-the-century Bluetooth-based devices. Not with UWB technology knocking on the door.


And sure enough, there they are: wireless earbuds on almost every wish list. Earbuds are basically indispensable these days, and your family seems to churn through them. Some of these family members are old enough to remember how incredible music sounded before it was compressed for lossy Bluetooth wireless transmission. They knowingly settle for less now sound-wise, and they’re counting in part on your wireless design acumen to make things right again with UWB connectivity that delivers extremely fast data rates and throughout. No compression required.

The younger ones are just starting to get into music, and you’re tickled to see a couple of them have vinyl records on their lists. Don’t worry, kids, great music experiences aren’t just a thing of the past…

Wait, did somebody really put wired headphones on their wish list? Surely they can’t be serious. You take a closer look. Yeah, it’s your brother’s list, and he’s 100% messing with you. You’re going to give him coal.

In any case, you commit to Bluetooth earbuds for now because everyone needs them. And for once the family agrees on something.

Uncle Walt has wireless speakers on his wish list. Here again, you lament the tradeoffs of Bluetooth wireless sound quality, when UWB enabled wireless speakers will be infinitely better. And with Uncle Walt you’re not just committing to getting him speakers; you’re also committing to an hours long visit to his house to help set them up. There’s basically no chance that’s he’s going to figure out the optimal positioning and layout for those things on his own. But he knows you can!

UWB will basically automate this process, enabling ‘self-aware’ wireless speakers that make set up and positioning easy, right out of the box. Uncle Walt will have to wait just a little longer.


Now for the gamers in the family, and in particular Chris. Chris is a fanatical gamer, and you get the sense that she’s heard a thing or two about the benefits of UWB wireless for gamers based on the questions she’s asked you. How much will it cut her latency? So much. Will she notice the performance difference? For sure. What’s the audio experience like? Way better.

Chris was ecstatic when you told her that 2K Hz and even 4K Hz wireless mice could be achieved with UWB connectivity. You thought she’d appreciate the insider tip and maybe take it easy on you next game. But she did not. And you couldn’t help but notice the other family members inconspicuously trickling out of the room during your riveting conversation about Hz polling rates and hard over clocking.

Anyway, Chris will be watching you closely when the gifts are unwrapped. She’s been telling her gamer friends about UWB for months now. And she’s intent on crushing every last one of them when her new UWB headset and keyboard arrive.


Farther down the wish lists…looks like someone is asking for a VR headset. You allow yourself a moment to fantasize about what AR/VR/XR devices could be like if only they were powered with UWB instead of Bluetooth. In the meantime, there’s no way you’re blowing hundreds of bucks on a set of “VR” goggles that are just going to collect dust when the promised ‘fully immersive’ experience isn’t even remotely as advertised. Not with Bluetooth it isn’t. It can’t be.

If we’ve learned anything from all the recent talk about ‘the metaverse,’ it’s that the XR devices comprising our personal area networks (PAN) in the metaverse era will require wireless connectivity with extremely high data throughput, ultra-low latency and breakthrough energy efficiency to extend device battery life between recharges. These attributes are key to the metaverse, where real-time virtual responsiveness is paramount.

…And speaking of keys, everyone’s always losing them! This one’s a no brainer and you’re gifting UWB-enabled positioning tags for your entire family to strap to their car keys. Mainly so they’ll finally stop calling you when they wind up stranded somewhere.

And partly because you’ve totally been there yourself. Better get an extra set.

* Your actual job title is Wireless Product Designer, but your family can never remember anything, so they tell people you’re a “UWB engineer” currently because you’re knee-deep in UWB-based designs and it’s pretty much all you talk about lately.