UWB Indoor Location Technology to Power the Industrial IoT Markets

IOTUltra-wideband (UWB) indoor location technology is on the cusp of substantial market growth. High-precision UWB technologies are not new, however the cost/accuracy trade-off has previously limited this technology to very niche applications. According to a report published by ABI Research, this has started to change now. Startups have invent ways to cost effectively implement the technology without compromising on performance.

In its analysis, ABI Research has uncovered a number of companies that it predicts will be very disruptive in this space. Decawave remains the biggest influencer, now shipping UWB ICs for less than $15 at scale. This opened the floodgates for a host of startups working with the technology for the first time to contend in the market.

Partners Decawave and Quantitec are making significant progress with the likes of Bosch; while Nanotron is a “20-year-old startup” that offers a well-thought-out embedded location platform. UWINLOC is another new startup that created a semi-passive UWB solution that can ultimately compete on price with passive RFID, while also providing similar benefits to an active technology through energy harvesting.

Not only is UWB expected to disrupt the existing market, it will also open up new opportunities around compliance, traceability, fleet management, pallet tracking, staff management, fulfillment, and inventory management. The major competitive threat stems from Bluetooth; while it comes with a range of cost/accuracy trade-offs, its major advantage is its easy integration with smartphones and industrial wearables. Companies like Bluvision, Kontakt.io, MIST and Quuppa lead the way in this space.

It is still very early, but the ability to deliver consistently on the impressive pricing, accuracy, and performance parameters that vendors are touting today will be what really differentiates Bluetooth and UWB technologies from one another. More about these findings from ABI Research can be seen in their report: Next Generation Asset Tracking Technologies, Opportunities, and Revenues. This report is part of the company’s Beacons, Indoor Analytics & Location, Enterprise IT & OT Convergence, Semiconductors, and Transformative Technology sectors, which include research, data, and analyst insights.