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Ultrawideband Signal Passes Data Through Walls

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the wireless-fight-out dept.

139

writertype writes "You may already be familiar with ultrawideband; UWB technology has been specifically talked about and designed to replace wired USB connections for over a year. Due to its high bandwidth, it's also been considered as an A/V cable replacement. The problem is that UWB radio performance degrades precipitously, effectively confining it to a single room. Until now, that is. Startup TZero says its UWB implementation provides high throughput through walls. Will this be an effective competitor to 802.11n?"

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3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (5, Insightful)

IntelliAdmin (941633) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490091)

The speed increases are nice with this technology. The problem is physics. As it stands UWB runs from 3.1GHZ to 10.6GHZ. Radio in this band operates much like visible light - it is easily blocked by walls and other obstacles. Because of this I think that 802.11b/a/c/n are going to be around for a long time

Windows Admin Tools [intelliadmin.com]

Re:3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490171)

Is the difference between 2.4 and 3.1GHz matters that much?

Re:3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (1)

Yonder Way (603108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490469)

3.1GHz - 2.4GHz = 700 MHz

Hmm not much difference at all in the propagation between 5 MHz signals and 705 MHz signals.

Re:3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (1)

radix99 (139858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490581)

Don't be too quick to point out an error--what would be a better description is the ratio between the frequencies--comparing 5MHz to 705MHz (a ratio of 141) when he compared 3.1 and 2.4GHz (a ratio of 1.2).

Re:3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (1)

bgoody (919219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490644)

There is virtually no difference between those two frequencies in terms of ability to penetrate objects. 2.4GHz would be superior but a much more important factor would be the amount of power used... or more specifically EIRP.

Re:3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (5, Interesting)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490654)

Try 802.11g and 802.11a equipment side-by-side. You will find that the 802.11a (5.5 GHz) equipment has considerably more difficulty over non-line-of-sight paths than 802.11g (2.4 GHz) has.

Re:3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (1)

bgoody (919219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490692)

Yes but you are free to use more power with 11a than 11g which balances out its weakness in solid object penetration. And the greater power enables better LOS distances which makes it superior for point-to-point fixed wireless usage. Overall 11a is better unless there happens to be a ton of inband interferrence or a PCS cell tower in the region which hits the 5.8GHz frequency range with a third harmonic.

Re:3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (3, Informative)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 8 years ago | (#15491145)

I recently built a 400m (a quarter mile) link using 802.11a pointtopoint equipment (1W ERP, max legal power here).
It is line-of-sight w.r.t. buildings, but there was a group of trees inbetween. The signal had to pass trough maybe 20 meters of foilage.

The link barely worked. Sometimes 6 Mbps, sometimes 12 Mbps.
Relocating one of the endpoints so that those trees were out of the way (actual position lower than it was, now just skimming a building) improved the signal by about 20dB.

Result: 54Mbps link and power output decreased by 5-6dB (by TPC). Could probably gain another 6dB by having more clearance above the building.

I really did not expect this, comparing with results on 2.4 GHz.
You are right that allowed ERP on 2.4 is lower, but I think there would have been a big difference in path loss in this case.

Re:3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (2, Insightful)

bgoody (919219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15491299)

It's extremely difficult to gauge foliage attenuation. It literally varies as the wind blows. Because of the wavelength, 5.8GHz also requires less fresnel zone clearance compared to 2.4GHz so if you were skimming the top of the trees on a marginal link, the blockage at 2.4GHz would be more severe, perhaps enough to dip you below the required signal-to-noise ratio.

If the trees were dense and the power ouput the same then 2.4GHz would win out.

Re:3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (3, Funny)

Anon-Admin (443764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490185)

As it stands UWB runs from 3.1GHZ to 10.6GHZ. Radio in this band operates much like visible light

Oh Microwave. Now your usb harddrive will save your data and cook your eggs all at once :)

Re:3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (1)

w33t (978574) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490253)

I wonder, if, as you say, it's something like light could it be routed through a "fiber-optic"-like material? This way you could have some kind of passive recieving element on one end of this fiber and then run it through the wall or through the ceiling just like cat 5, and on the other end you have another passive trancieving material.

I don't know enough about UWB yet for this to be more than fantastical speculation - but if this range of frequency can be reflected and refracted like light it would seem to me that this is at least a possibility.

After all, fiber optics are used for routing ordinary lighting - could the uwb signal be captured and transmitted along an element of some sort without the need to use active electronics?

Re:3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15490281)

I wonder, if, as you say, it's something like light could it be routed through a "fiber-optic"-like material? This way you could have some kind of passive recieving element on one end of this fiber and then run it through the wall or through the ceiling just like cat 5, and on the other end you have another passive trancieving material.

What? Like an antenna

Re:3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (1)

w33t (978574) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490412)

hehe, nice.

yes, somewhat. However in this case it would be an antenna between two rooms without anything being used to boost the signal. No power, completely passive, but allowing the UWB to flow freely between the rooms (where the wall would otherwise block the signal).

Re:3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (1)

barawn (25691) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490428)

However in this case it would be an antenna between two rooms without anything being used to boost the signal.

Yeah. Two antennas.

Re:3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (2, Funny)

bibi-pov (819943) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490357)

I wonder, if, as you say, it's something like light could it be routed through a "fiber-optic"-like material? This way you could have some kind of passive recieving element on one end of this fiber and then run it through the wall or through the ceiling just like cat 5, and on the other end you have another passive trancieving material.
So basically what your suggesting is that in order to have a working wireless connection you need a wire ?

Re:3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (1)

w33t (978574) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490431)

Ha!

When you put it that way I guess so :) - of course I'm thinking of it more as a hybrid wired/wireless approach. Because you essentially need line of sight for UWB to work properly (excepting the article's apparent breakthrough) you would place a trancieving element in every room of a building. However, within the room you would have the wireless access.

It would be somewhat like running antennas around - but these elements could be completely passive, requiring no power to propagate the signal between rooms.

You would have some of the benifits and some of the drawbacks of both wired and wireless. But as I conceded - I am just spouting ill-informed speculation here. I'm not as familiar with UWB as I will be in a few hours.

Re:3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (2, Funny)

deficite (977718) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490558)

Or you could pull out a hammer drill and punch a whole through the walls of every room. I'm a genius. Pay me $50 billion dollars for my great idea.

Re:3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (2, Funny)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490785)

Or you could pull out a hammer drill and punch a whole through the walls of every room.

Punch a whole what?

Re:3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (0, Offtopic)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15491206)

A whole hole, I assume.

Re:3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (2, Interesting)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490631)

I wonder, if, as you say, it's something like light could it be routed through a "fiber-optic"-like material?

Yes. That is commonly called "waveguide". It operates exacty like a fiber-optic cable, but at the wavelength of these signals.
Of course, the wavelength being 3-10cm it needs to be physically larger than the fiber for 800nm wavelength "light".

Waveguide often has an air dielectricum, and the dimensions for this wavelength would be slightly smaller than the wavelength. This makes it a bit less practical.
But you could have a waveguide with some other core, and it would be smaller.

Re:3.1GHZ Has trouble going through walls (4, Informative)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490734)

One major issue with UWB is the antenna design. Its proving very hard to built antennas that have constant gain over the whole BW. As a result, the antenna essentially induces a transfer function on the transmitted (or recieved) signal. It could be possible to compensate using DSP in the Tx or Rx circuits, however the transfer function is different for differing RF environments. That is, move the metal legged table in your living room and the compensation algorithms are no longer valid. There are a few new antenna designs being proposed that focus on ensuring the s21 values are constant over the whole UWB spectrum, but its still early days with those.

The 'going through walls' part is a bit of a tempest in a teapot. That will come when the RF aspects of UWB are better designed.

Can't we just... (2, Funny)

douglips (513461) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490809)

Can't Geordi just reverse the tacyon polarization?

Re:Can't we just... (2, Funny)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490840)

No. Battery died in his visor.

Radio through walls???!?!?!?!!!! (-1, Flamebait)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490095)

Tell me it can't be true !!!?1!!!!

Re:Radio through walls???!?!?!?!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15490110)

unsubscribe [slashdot.org]

fast off the post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15490174)

Cat got your tongue? (something important seems to be missing from your comment ... like the body or the subject!)

Re:Radio through walls???!?!?!?!!!! (1)

TheBogie (941620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490189)

I can see this technology being used by the Chinese to further oppress their citizens.

They can no longer hide their wireless networks inside thick walls.

Re:Radio through walls???!?!?!?!!!! (2, Funny)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490218)

I always knew the government was sending me secret signals through walls. UWB proves the CIA really does give me those disturbing dreams about hot dogs chasing donuts and packets from hell in my network. I'm not paranoid. Hey. Why are you pointing a Pringles can at me? Help!!

Re:Radio through walls???!?!?!?!!!! (1)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490667)

You sounds just like my brother,except he blames ME for the signals.

Re:Radio through walls???!?!?!?!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15490288)

Why was that modded offtopic? Go buy yourself a sense of humor.

Re:Radio through walls???!?!?!?!!!! (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490439)

What next? Movies via Television [slashdot.org] ? What a wondrous, brave new age we live in.

Re:Radio through walls???!?!?!?!!!! (1)

emjoi_gently (812227) | more than 8 years ago | (#15491268)

Right up there with Live Streaming of Radio.

"You can now listen to this Station Live on the Internet!" they proudly proclaim, as I listen to the radio station, live, while I drive my car.

ultrawideband (-1, Flamebait)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490107)

"You may already be familiar with ultrawideband"

I'm sure the folks of slashdot are all too familiar with ultra-wide waist bands...

What about bluetooth? (0)

Clazzy (958719) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490122)

I don't see why they need to use a different piece of technology. Does bluetooth have limits that make it incapable of a fast data transfer or something?

Re:What about bluetooth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15490176)

Does your two-seater car have limits that keep it from being suitable for performing as a school bus?

Bluetooth is "low power" and "short range". The short range helps with low power consumption. The faster you flip bits up and down, the more power you use. So, if you want to start carrying bulk battery packs around, feel free to hop up bluetooth for more speed. Personally, I like not having to constantly charge my phone.

Re:What about bluetooth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15490216)

Does your two-seater car have limits that keep it from being suitable for performing as a school bus?

Ahh. Another day, another bad car analogy on /.

Re:What about bluetooth? (3, Insightful)

MountainMan101 (714389) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490220)

Yes. Bluetooth was designed to replace IR, which in turn replaced short wires. It was purely a personal wireless protocol, short range between paired objects. Wireless USB is designed for higher bandwith, although I don't see it being a competitor to WiFi - mainly because they can exist in the same way that wired USB and Ethernet do.

You may ask why we can't have one all encompassing protocol - the answer, cost. Bluetooth is the cheapest, GPRS and WiFi cost more. So for a BT headset the cost would rocket up if it had to do be fully compliant with a new protocol.

Anyway, in the grand scheme it's all a bit pointless. There's more interesting things in life, like mountains, women and fast cars. Who cares about wireless!

Re:What about bluetooth? (1)

Clazzy (958719) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490263)

Fair enough, it doesn't affect me anyway, I have the sanity to stick with wires instead!

Re:What about bluetooth? (0, Redundant)

modecx (130548) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490423)

Who cares about wireless!

Precisely. Until they figure out wireless power or at least let us have mini nuclear reactors to power our laptops with (the far preferable option, imo) we'll still need wires for power, making wireless communication a useless trinket, just like it is now. Personally, I've almost grown to like tripping over power adapters when I try to take my woman to a coffee shop. NOT.

And when they let us have mini nuclear reactors for our laptops, I'll be happy to chain a few dozen together to make a pretty quick nuclear powered electric hybrid car so that I can fly up mountians with my women, again elmiminating any interest in wireless communications that I ever pretended I had...

Mmmm... Nuclear electric hybrid car... Now if it were an open loop system like an old train, I could also make latte macchiatos on the move.. Wouldn't that be cool! That and I could have a train whistle tied to my horn! WooooWooooo! Move your ass! WOOOOOOOO! Trying to go somewhere with this drought might be a bitch, though.

*looks around*

Re:What about bluetooth? (1)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490596)

mini nuclear reactors to power our laptops

Wow, and I thought it was bad when my computer just made my thighs hot!

Re:What about bluetooth? (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490882)

Hmmm! To use my laptop you'll need asbestos trousers!

Re:What about bluetooth? (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490492)

The article refers to replacing USB, and A/V cables.

You describe bluetooth as:

It was purely a personal wireless protocol, short range between paired objects.

The average usb cable is 5 feet. The average A/V cable is 3 feet. Short range: check.
Cables go from one object to another object. Paired: check.

The only spot BT can come up short is throughput -- but then why not a "Bluetooth 2" a faster backwards compatible spec that is to Bluetooth what USB2 is to USB?

Not that I have any dislike of UWB or anything, but really, Bluetooth was designed as a short range cable replacement. USB and A/V cables certainly fit into that world. For longer range connections wireless wifi seems like a better approach, even it uses a protocol that sits on top of ethernet to provide "virtual pairing" or something.

For example, I routinely use serial devices. A long time ago I stopped having them connected directly to my PC, and instead setup virtual serial ports connected over ethernet to connect to serial devices plugged into a LAN. It works great.

Now if I wanted to go wireless the logical step would be to simply make the LAN wireless; not invent some entirely new long range pairing wireless serial cable replacement prototcol.

Re: Who cares about wireless! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15491030)

Well...

The $GUY on the Mountain in the fast Car with the Woman...
on the CELLPHONE!

( I hope She is on the phone or that the Car is not moving;
else
          set GUY=Idiot
  )

Getting Crowded (2, Funny)

Ignignot (782335) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490125)

Great, so now my idiot neighbors can make even more interference, and this time whenever they tune in to see Lost, I'll lose my internet connection. Will I at least be able to see what they are seeing?

Re:Getting Crowded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15490190)

Imagine for a moment a million users all using the same technology over the same ultrawide band, If used for something like video UWB would be constantly utilized. How can this technology not have a negative effect on the current spectrum utilization? UWB in it's current state seems reminicent of where BPL was and the interference it caused for low band radio operations.I say go back to the drawing board and design a narrow band technology that can provide similar thru-put.

Re:Getting Crowded (1)

TheGavster (774657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490231)

It almost seems like this tech would be better limited to within a room. I mean, does anyone really run A/V signals between rooms as it is (except, of course, cable or satellite runs from a dish or the street)?

Re:Getting Crowded (2, Insightful)

christopherfinke (608750) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490257)

I mean, does anyone really run A/V signals between rooms as it is (except, of course, cable or satellite runs from a dish or the street)?
Perhaps no one is running A/V signals between rooms because it hasn't been easily doable, and this technology will greatly increase the number of people doing so.

All I know is that this would have been great to have when I was retrofitting my home for cable last year. That was a pain...

Re:Getting Crowded (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490351)

Actually lots of people do it - A/V disribution over cat5 is a huge business.

Re:Getting Crowded (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490393)

Three words: Musak

Dish Subscribers (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490658)

I don't know about DTV, but the recievers that Dish is shipping now have two tuners, and come with one IR and one RF remote. I think it is safe to say that a huge number of people send their signals between rooms. And the numbers are only likely to grow.

Re:Getting Crowded (1)

Yonder Way (603108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490487)

You're talking about BPL in the past tense as if it is no longer a problem for the amateur radio service.

Re:Getting Crowded (1)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490641)

Well, it looks like in the more developed areas of the world it has largely been abandoned by now.

Re:Getting Crowded (2, Interesting)

arivanov (12034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490595)

Do not worry. They will not.

The only reason UWB has even started being considered by regulators in most countries was the assumption that it will be limited to a line of sight.

UWB that goes through walls will make all the early fears resurface once more and delay regulatory approval for UWB where necessary.

Frankly some of the pushers of competing tech like 802.11n should invest into this technology ASAP.

Quick response... (5, Informative)

JPamplin (804322) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490135)

Will this be an effective competitor to 802.11n?

Um, no. 802.11n has significantly greater range (as a spec, at least). Plus, if this company is claiming to have developed it, I don't think they will just give it up for free. 802.11n is a public standard.

So, no. ;-)

Different markets (3, Informative)

VoiceOfDog (648178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490628)

Ultrawideband is being developed as a WPAN [wikipedia.org] standard for IEEE 802.15.3a, which aims to provide a high (~20Mbps) alternative to Bluetooth. .15.3a is being called "WiMedia" and is intended for use in the Wireless USB (WUSB) standard. This is clearly the market this company is trying to address.
WPAN (Personal Area Networks), like Bluetooth or ZigBee, aim at a different market than WLAN (WiFi). For a WPAN, it may be advantageous to have a shorter range to reduce interference.
Extending the range to blur the line between WPAN and WLAN is an interesting business plan. There are numberous competing technolgies in the WPAN arena, and history tells that not all will survive. Time will tell if this one is viable.

Re:Quick response... (2, Informative)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490776)

802.11n uses MIMO, whereas UWB does not (as yet).
UWB is not designed for long range, it is meant for very low power rich message passing
Neither are proprietary


I agree that 802.11n and UWB will not dethrone one another, because they are not really equivalent or competeting.

What's the security (1)

daniel422 (905483) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490139)

on UWB? How do you keep these things on seperate networks? What's the max number of connections? Anybody know this yet? I can't find it on wikipedia...

Wikipedia??!? (1)

sczimme (603413) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490783)


Anybody know this yet? I can't find it on wikipedia...

Why do people insist on treating Wikipedia as a reliable source of information?? Use your favorite search engine, find an authoritative source, and be on your way.

A quick Google search for "UWB" && "ultra wide band" reveals a number of good sources, including Intel and the UWB Forum. But hey, since those apparently aren't good enough, Wikipedia is the second link on the first page of results. Go nuts.

Other uses (4, Interesting)

loraksus (171574) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490142)

These folks didn't seem to have too much trouble trying to get the signal through walls ;)

http://www.uwb.org/RadarVision2i/rv2iperf.htm [uwb.org]
That is a pretty primitive picture, some of the stuff in labs is quite a bit more advanced.

BTW, is anyone noticing font corruption on that page in Firefox?

Re:Other uses (1)

rxrx (968596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490271)

I want that.

Font corruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15490401)

Nope. Firefox 1.5.0.4 on Windows XP.

Font corruption (1)

Adelec Bakkal (980669) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490672)

It seems alright here.

Sorry. (1)

fuzzyfozzie (978329) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490146)

"Will this be an effective competitor to 802.11n?" No.

Re:Sorry. (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490169)

The answer could be "yes" if it's in regards to frequency ranges. Sorta how cordless phones running at 2.4Ghz causes hell with wireless 802.11 b/g devices.

I don't know about you chaps (5, Funny)

also-rr (980579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490203)

But I find that for the best data rate through walls all that one requires is a sledge hammer and a fibre optic cable.

Re:I don't know about you chaps (4, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490282)

What about going through a wall with a Station Wagon full of backup tapes?

Re:I don't know about you chaps (1)

bigtrike (904535) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490639)

You hammer your fiberobtic cable through walls?

Re:I don't know about you chaps (1)

RockWolf (806901) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490701)

He has fibreoptic 2.0 - better, stronger, faster, and able to be hammered through walls. I'm surprised you haven't heard of it. PHB's are going to LOVE this stuff. ;)

Yea yea yea... (4, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490217)

UWB technology has been specifically talked about and designed to replace wired USB connections for over a year. Due to its high bandwidth, it's also been considered as an A/V cable replacement.

Yea, yea, yea... That sounds so desperately trying to hype it up. Just a month ago we were discussing that current digital A/V *cables* can't handle high enough resolutions for some larger (resolution) monitors out there, which requires two or even four DVI cables.

We've discussed also how the new standard introduced, is just as bad (despite claims to "scale indefinitely", in theory, with other equipment and all that..).

Now this is of course gonna replace everything, including food and water in one year. Therefore buy our shares and give us venture capital. Screw it.

The problem is that UWB radio performance degrades precipitously, effectively confining it to a single room. Until now, that is. Startup TZero says its UWB implementation provides high throughput through walls. Will this be an effective competitor to 802.11n?

I don't get it: we have enough problems with people logging into our wifi networks because it passes through walls already (even if it's password protected and so on, it can be hacked into), and now they found a way to do the same with UWB? I kinda like it in my room only, neighbours will have to buy theirs.

Of course not. (2, Informative)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490227)

Not when UWB's output power is limited so that its range is only 30 feet. [intel.com]

Damn, time to upgrade (2, Funny)

jhines (82154) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490238)

Time to upgrade the ol' tin foil hat. Maybe some shiny stickers...

Re:Damn, time to upgrade (1)

SpinJaunt (847897) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490314)

Ditto, although so glad you didn't say bumper stickers.

Re:Damn, time to upgrade (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490379)

You've never put metal in a microwave before? You might want to try that before making too many upgrades, unless one of the upgrades would be some sort of liquid lead.

Why aren't I using it yet? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490239)

Due to its high bandwidth, it's also been considered as an A/V cable replacement. The problem is that UWB radio performance degrades precipitously, effectively confining it to a single room.

I'd love to have all of my A/V electronics connected wirelessly. I don't care if it would only work within one room for now cause all of my stuff's in one room, probably like most people. So why isn't this commonplace yet? I hate all the wires running around my living room.

Re:Why aren't I using it yet? (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490285)

I'd love to have all of my A/V electronics connected wirelessly. I don't care if it would only work within one room for now cause all of my stuff's in one room, probably like most people.

Go on do it. Reminds me of the inventors of X-Rays. They wanted to scan everything and make X-Ray movies from it, since it's so neat to see inside of a living creature: mice, cats, dogs... themselves too. There's hours and hours of movie material of them trying it when their wear rings, watches and all sort of non-sense.

Most of them of course died of cancer later.

Re:Why aren't I using it yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15490792)

Probably more to the point, cost (including power) v. fidelity. Hard to beat fat insulated copper wire with EM through free air.

Re:Why aren't I using it yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15490953)

I'm curious why you feel that way. I feel just the opposite. With the exception of a remote control, I don't want ANYTHING wireless if I can help it.

This is my preference for several reasons that spring to mind:

- Wired is more secure;
- Wired is more reliable;
- Whether the science behind radiation problems is correct or not, once you go wired you can just forget about it, as (properly) wired removes any concern about radiation;
- It's pretty easy to wire your house

I'm not criticizing your choice. I'm just wondering whose opinion is more mainstream, and what the pros and cons of wired versus wireless are perceived to be.

building construction (3, Interesting)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490300)

as anyone knows reading my coments knows i am no IT guy, but i do work construction and done it for years, most commercial office buildings are built not with lumber and a lot of what is called sheetmetal stud and track, also there is sheetmetal HVAC ducts & etc.; lots of metal, well anyhow metal always blocks radio signals so within a large building with enough walls to go through i can see why wireless will have limitations...

i would imagine a large enough office building would benefit from a repeater system like some ham and commercial radio systems already use...

Re:building construction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15490918)

I thought you're a burger guy...

Hammer (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490323)

If your data won't pass through walls, then you just need a bigger hammer... ;)

n is still better (4, Insightful)

MooseTick (895855) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490328)

802.11n makes many improvements over 11.g. It provides for greater redundancy(MIMO), security, speed(400MBPS+), and more distant coverage. It is also an open standard so anyone can use it without worring about paying someone license fees today, tomorrow, or 3 years from now when it is commonplace. Since its speed can allow multiple hdtv connections to stream at once and the costs should not be any greater than 11b or 11g devices, the n standard will soon dominate wireless networking and connections.

Why do you need it? (2, Interesting)

phorm (591458) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490336)

From my understanding of the article, this is intended as a wireless protocol for USB devices. That being so, why would you need it to go through walls, or better yet, why would you want it to?

Personally, in 99% of the cases, I'd be more than happy to have my USB signals stay put where nobody but me can read them... despite the assurance about "security being mandatory" we all know that in most cases if a signal can be picked up, it can be hacked.

The only reason I might want something that passes through walls is if I decided to stick a media server, etc in the closet, and have it controlled by a local device connected by UWB... and either a wireless or hardwired connection for the video.

Health Hazards? (1)

renrutal (872592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490340)

My wave physics knowledge may be lacking, but don't things that what go through walls require them to be at a pretty high energetic state and extremely low wavelenghts? Wouldn't that lead to health hazards or something?

It might be like what cell phones do, but cell phones don't stay 24/7 on a call.

No Data (4, Insightful)

thePig (964303) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490353)

The article (press release ??) has NO data whatsoever on how they solved this issue?
Since the high frequency makes it *very* less able to go around objects, how did they do it indeed?
Were they able to use EIT ?

BTW, they did not speak about the degradation pattens in the article.
Any ideas on the same?

Re:No Data (2, Funny)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490397)

To get the wireless to work through walls, you have to use their patented Universal Wall Hole(tm) technology to prep each wall for optimum wireless performance.

Fix the drawback (2, Insightful)

MoogMan (442253) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490396)

One thing I never liked about USB, is that you can't use the connector "upside-down" (I'm sure there's probably a technical word for this... symmetrical or something).

I hope this UWB - being a successor of USB - has connectors that work "upside-down". Oh wait...

Re:Fix the drawback (1)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490643)

Or you could just plug it in correctly. I can't think of a single computer connector, other than the power adapter on my laptop, where there isn't a wrong way to plug it in.

Re:Fix the drawback (3, Insightful)

Russellkhan (570824) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490834)

I think the thing that makes it annoying with USB is that there's no simple visual cue (e.g. shape of the plug) to tell you which way to plug it. There is that little plastic bit on one side, but for some reason I have a harder time remembering which side of the USB socket has the plastic bit than I do remembering for example which way the wider side of a VGA socket faces.

Re:Fix the drawback (2, Insightful)

Ksevio (865461) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490979)

There's typically a crack in the metal on the bottom, and a usb symbol on the top.

Re:Fix the drawback (1)

The Raven (30575) | more than 8 years ago | (#15491049)

Whoever modded him as 'Insightful' needs to RTFA, or even RTFS. Or buy a clue. Seriously, you kids these days... ;-)

Re:Fix the drawback (1)

Compuser (14899) | more than 8 years ago | (#15491138)

Looking at my usb key - it only has four pins and a metal outside, so five total.
This should be easy to make into a concentric design, like audio plugs. That way
you just plug it in, no orientation required. You could even, you know, rotate the
connector in the socket [gasp]. I did not moderate but I also think the gp is
insightful.

Re:Fix the drawback (1)

apoc.famine (621563) | more than 8 years ago | (#15491176)

Well, they'd have to include a small pan to collect all the bits that fall out when you do that. Otherwise, I think it's a great idea.

Great! (1)

git68 (957160) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490421)

If this works as advertised I will be able to use my wireless keyboard and mouse in a different room to my PC.

Oh wait!

UWB could be quite simple to implement but ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15490443)

For short range communication, uwb could be quite simple to implement. It could indeed be a replacement for cables for all kinds of things. Once you try to push the range, things get more miserable. The question is then, what benefit you expect to gain and what costs might you face.

Any kind of wireless communication pushes up the general noise level. If the communication is restricted to a certain bandwidth, the noise affects other users of the same bandwidth. On the other hand, uwb will affect people in bands that are supposed to be clear. We have the specter of satellite links degrading because ten million people are using uwb for their cordless phones. My wag is that the FCC will eventually have to put its foot down if uwb becomes too successful.

"10-4 Good Buddy" (2, Interesting)

LM741N (258038) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490618)

It will work great until your neighbor on CB running 10kW speaks into the mic.
(same for BPL Internet)

mommy! (3, Funny)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490726)

Mommy, I feel all tingly inside!

Oh, sweety - thats just the Ultawideband USB, now with extra radiation!

Oooo, it feels like progress! But my hair is falling out!

Thats ok honey, thats how you know it's working!

Not so fast, sunshine (0)

Frightening (976489) | more than 8 years ago | (#15490784)

Cancer /*cough*/ bizarre wavelengths /*cough*/ intensity /*cough*/ not tested yet /*cough*/

TZero name already taken (2, Interesting)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 8 years ago | (#15491132)

The TZero name is already taken. Anyway, I'd much rather have this TZero [acpropulsion.com] .

UWB not so scalable... (2, Insightful)

Dr. Zowie (109983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15491279)

Will this be an effective competitor to 802.11?

Ye Gods, I hope not. UWB is absolutely terrific so long as a limited number of people use it -- but it's one of those solutions that sound great until you multiply by 10,000,000 installed devices -- then everyone's radio noise floor goes up, stealing bandwidth (range, really) from things like FM music, shortwave, air traffic control, and emergency services. By that time it's too late, because you can't track down and eliminate 10^7 devices -- short of nuking the city centers.

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