ABI Research Predicts: 2022 Will See UWB in RTLS Applications Reach 500 Million Shipments

By Taryn Engmark

Assistant Editor

Embedded Computing Design

January 06, 2022


ABI Research Predicts: 2022 Will See UWB in RTLS Applications Reach 500 Million Shipments

In its whitepaper, "70 Technology Trends That Will—and Will Not—Shape 2022," ABI Research analysts identify 35 trends that will shape the technology market and 35 others that, although attracting speculation and commentary, are less likely to move the needle. Read on to learn the predicted future of Ultra-Wideband and 5G positioning.

What Will Happen in 2022:

Ultra-Wideband’s Acceleration Will Propel Precise Location Technologies to the Mainstream 

Thanks to its precision, robustness, and reliability, Ultra-Wideband (UWB) has re-emerged as a secure, fine-ranging technology capable of enabling a range of location-based user experiences and services that previous wireless technologies have been unable to support. This includes a combination of device-to-device and device-to-infrastructure applications, such as hands-free secure vehicle and building access, indoor localization, asset tracking, hands-free payments, smart home interaction and automation, AR, gaming, and a whole range of emerging smart building, smart city, industrial, and other IoT applications.

While there are numerous hurdles for the technology to overcome including standardization and interoperability, widespread chipset and device availability, greater education, and awareness, UWB technology will increasingly become a ubiquitous technology embedded within smartphones and vehicles, which will act as a catalyst for large-scale UWB adoption across a range of new IoT applications.

In Real-Time Location System (RTLS) environments, UWB will continue to grow. Vendors like Ubisense, Kinexon, Siemens, Eliko, Sewio, Quarion, Zebra, Tracktio, and Pozyx, among others, are helping the technology grow across a number of precision RTLS applications within industrial, warehouse and logistics, and sports tracking applications. Combined, UWB is expected to reach 500 million annual shipments in 2022, growing to 1.5 billion by 2026, according to ABI Research.

What Won’t Happen in 2022:

5G Positioning Will Not Replace Alternative RTLS Technologies 

The ability of 5G to combine connectivity with high-precision positioning has the potential to significantly enhance the value proposition of 5G rollouts and enable new Location-Based Services (LBS) in a variety of enterprises. Within end-market verticals such as manufacturing, healthcare, warehousing and supply chain, transportation, and oil, gas, and mining, it is clear there is growing sentiment that 5G positioning is beneficial because of its ability to combine telco and positioning use cases into a single infrastructure, and that it can address use cases that other technologies have struggled to address.

There is a growing acknowledgement that 5G positioning is emerging to make LBS more accurate, precise, and reliable across both indoor and outdoor environments. However, 5G positioning is very much in the early days of maturity, and there are several obstacles to overcome.

For more information, download the whitepaper 70 Technology Trends That Will—and Will Not—Shape 2022.