Xiaomi Announces Its Home-Grown Indoor GPS

Apart from focusing on smartphones, Xiaomi has been actively working on developing a complete Xiaomi ecosystem. To take things a step further, the Smartphone maker has announced its Ultra-Wideband technology that will allow Smartphones to control the smart products by making them spatially aware, pretty much like Indoor GPS.

Note that Ultra-wideband or UWB is not to be confused with Verizon’s 5G Ultra-wideband (UW) network, which uses low-energy, short-range, high-bandwidth radio waves to transmit data.

Xiaomi’s UWB utilizes a large bandwidth starting from 500 MHz. The same technology is used by wireless monitors, routers, and portable pocket printers because they don’t interfere with narrowband and carrier wave communication.

However, Xiaomi has put the technology to a slightly different use. According to the latest announcement, is has employed Ultra-wideband to give devices some spatial awareness. This will allow the device to determine its position and even its orientation relative to other devices. Hence, the phone will be able to tell what you are pointing at.

The company loaded its latest Mi 10 smartphone with a UWB chip to demonstrate the whole process. In the demo, the user shows how easy it is to connect to and control a smart device simply by pointing to its direction—no Bluetooth or roundabout Internet communication is required.

Although the video is in Chinese, it gives a pretty good idea of what the tech is.

At this point, it is essential to understand that seamless communication like this does not happen by magic. UWB requires particular antenna placement and equipment to work properly. Hence, it will be long before we see something like this in consumer tech.