Wireless USB devices in spotlight at CES

Over 130 products have been certified for Wireless USB. Next up? Wireless USB 1.1, more power efficiency, says president of the USB Implementers Forum.

LAS VEGAS--At the Consumer Electronics Show, Wireless USB devices made an appearance en masse.

What does that mean exactly? Wireless USB notebooks, docking stations, hard drives. And more consumer-centric devices like Wireless USB speakers, displays, and USB phones. In fact, Samsung was showing a prototype mobile phone. (See photo below.)

"It looks and feels like wired USB, only it's wireless," according to Jeff Ravencraft of Intel , who is president of the USB Implementers Forum, speaking in an interview at CES.

Over 130 products have been certified, according to Ravencraft. "The next thing in Wireless USB is Wireless USB 1.1 where we're adding upper band support for a worldwide footprint for ultra-wide-band frequency, easier association of the device to the host, and more power efficiency," Ravencraft said.

At close range, up to 3 meters, Wireless USB delivers up to 480 megabits per second, he said. At this range, throughput is essentially the same as wired USB, Ravencraft said. Up to 10 meters, this drops to a maximum throughput of 110 megabits per second.

Ravencraft said there are wireless hard disk drives in the market now.

ThinkPad notebook with Wireless USB Intel silicon
ThinkPad notebook with Wireless USB Intel silicon Brooke Crothers
Samsung DUOS mobile phone with Wireless USB
Samsung DUOS mobile phone with Wireless USB Brooke Crothers
IOGEAR was showing commercial devices with Wireless USB, including a Wireless USB audio adapter and a Wireless USB to VGA kit that makes monitors wireless.
IOGEAR was showing commercial devices with Wireless USB, including a Wireless USB audio adapter and a Wireless USB to VGA kit that makes monitors wireless. Brooke Crothers
About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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