Google would experiment with the Ultra Wideband technology used by the AirTag on its future smartphone, the Pixel 6.
The launch of AirTag it seemed to resonate with a fierce competitor of Apple, Google. According to 9To5Mac and the editor-in-chief of XDA Developers on Twitter, the Mountain View firm would also seek to integrate Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology into its devices. It is a wireless protocol similar to Bluetooth which allows, among other things, to locate an object very precisely, to the nearest centimeter. This technology is precisely put to good use by the small pebble recently launched by Apple.
I don’t have any more details to share, such as confirmation that a next-gen Pixel will indeed support UWB, if Google is working on any UWB/BT trackers, whether “raven” is the Pixel 6 or 6 XL, etc.
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) April 30, 2021
At Google, the first to benefit from the UWB would be the Pixel 6, the brand’s next high-end smartphone. And with this addition, the firm would have all the cards in hand to also embark on the segment of AirTag trackers. What if it benefits all Android smartphones?
Towards AirTags for Android?
If we talk about the AirTag, it is because it is the logical continuation of the integration of the Ultra Wideband in the iPhone. Since 2019 and the release of the iPhone 11, all Apple smartphone models have it. The Apple company has recently been followed by Samsung, which has also equipped its Galaxy S21 + and Galaxy S21 Ultra of the UWB (the Galaxy S21 does not, however). The two brands have in common: they have both launched a localization beacon, the AirTag at Apple, the SmartTag at Samsung.
By extension, can we assume that Google has plans in this area? There is currently nothing to say, especially since the integration of the UWB to the Pixel 6 is still only a rumor. Still, if Google really has that intention, it can be a boon for all Pixel users, and even, later, Android smartphones. One could even imagine a network similar to “Locate” Apple, which takes advantage of all iPhones around the world, but with the much greater impact of the planetary Android fleet. We are already waiting for the presentation of the Pixel 6 next fall to start to get an idea.
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