(Pocket-lint) - Google is reportedly testing support for ultra-wideband (UWB) connectivity, specifically for Android hardware such as the Pixel 6 series.
XDA’s Mishaal Rahman shared on Twitter that Google is experimenting with UWB support on an upcoming device codenamed Raven. This device is thought to be part of the Pixel 6 family of phones. Raven could join another device, codenamed Oriole, this autumn - both running Google's Whitechapel GS101 chip.
I've just been informed that Google is testing support for Android 12's Ultra-wideband (UWB) API on "raven", one of the code-names that could belong to the GS101-powered next-gen Pixels.— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) April 30, 2021
Corroborating Rahman's tweet, 9to5Google has claimed it's seen on documentation that shows Google has indeed been working with UWB hardware, though it offered no additional information about how the Pixel 6 family would use UWB connectivity, as existing Nest hardware doesn't offer the technology.
Ultra-wideband (UWB) popped onto the consumer electronics radar in 2019, when Apple announced the inclusion of the U1 chip in the iPhone. It has subsequently found its way into some other key areas of technology, and we're expecting to see a lot more from UWB over the coming years. In fact, we suspect UWB will come to several flagship-tier smartphones beyond the iPhone 11 series and iPhone 12 series.
A short-range wireless communication protocol, it uses high frequencies that can provide spatial and directional data. The advantage that UWB offers over existing technologies is that it's much better at ranging with greater accuracy, so two UWB devices would know where the other was with much greater precision than Bluetooth or GPS. Check out our UWB guide here to learn more about the technology and current use cases.