UWB Meltdown Continues, WiMedia Alliance Disbands

[qi:004] Technology standards don’t die a quick death in most cases. For years after the market has abandoned a failed standard, it still exists in orphaned products hoping for eventual resurrection. Yesterday, EETimes reported another step in the long road to obsolescence for Ultra-wideband saying the WiMedia Alliance, a standards body promoting UWB, has shut its doors.

The WiMedia Alliance is handing over all current and future specification development of its version of ultrawideband (UWB) to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, the Wireless USB Promoter Group and the USB Implementers Forum. Once the handoff is completed, it will shut down.

Blame it on failed execution, an uneven regulatory environment or the world deciding it doesn’t need another low-power, high data rate wireless transfer protocol. Either way, there are still a few startups such as Alereon, Stacatto Communications and Wisair holding out hopes that UWB might make it on mobile handsets for video transfer or as some other use. The hope is that UWB will be folded into the higher data rate transfer standard for Bluetooth — giving those startups a reason to exist.