Google is experimenting with putting ultra-wideband (UWB) connectivity into their Android hardware, likely for the Pixel 6 family of phones.
Over the last year or so, UWB has become the latest hot feature for smartphones and smart home devices alike. In the Apple ecosystem, the iPhone 12 series uses UWB to do neat things like connect to a HomePod Mini just by bringing your phone close to it or precisely locate an AirTag. Samsung is also using UWB for their SmartTags as well as allowing your phone to act as a car key for supported vehicles.
Given the popularity, it’s surely only a matter of time before UWB is available on all flagship-tier smartphones. To that end, XDA’s Mishaal Rahman shared on Twitter that Google is working on bringing UWB support to an upcoming device codenamed “Raven,” believed to be part of the Pixel 6 family of phones. “Raven” and another device “Oriole” are set to be this fall’s Made by Google phones, both running on Google’s own Whitechapel GS101 chip.
Based on documentation viewed by 9to5Google, we can corroborate that Google has been working with UWB hardware developed by Qorvo. No information has come to light regarding how the presumed Pixel 6 family would use the UWB connectivity, as no current Nest hardware offers that technology.
The only clues we have for now lie in the open source UWB code for Android 12. Primarily, this code deals with determining how far away two UWB devices are from each other and at what angle the two are being brought together. For now, these UWB features will only be available to system apps, leaving them unavailable to other Android developers.
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