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The Nearby Interactions feature is coming soon for U1-enabled iPhones


The Nearby Interactions feature is coming soon for U1-enabled iPhones

By TechThop Team

Posted on: 23 Jul, 2022

Apple showed off the Nearby Interactions feature of iOS 16 at WWDC last month that allows third-party smart devices to communicate with Apple's UWB U1 chips for 'new hands-free experiences' - letting you, for example, turn on a light bulb by walking near it.

Chipmakers can seek MFi certification for interoperability with U1 through the new framework, so developers can take advantage of the real-time, precise location triggers.

“With our extensive portfolio of UWB chips, modules, and software, Qorvo Mobile products president Eric Creviston says the ecosystem of connected UWB products and accessories will accelerate. 

MFi certified DW3110, the company's UWB wireless transceiver that integrates Impulse Radio, so now other companies can use Apple's Nearby Interactions with their accessories.

Apple's U1 chip can serve as a highly accurate GPS locator that can be used for things like finding your keys with AirTags, unlocking cars, sharing files via AirDrop when you point your iPhone at your friends, and dancing with your iPhone over your HomePod.

There has been no mention of the U1 chip in Apple TV remotes or iPad Pros in recent years, though it is currently integrated into the iPhone 11 and newer, Apple Watch Series 6 and newer, and airbags.

UWB isn't just being used by Apple: smart tracker pioneer Tile is developing UWB trackers to compete with AirTags and Galaxy SmartTags from Samsung.

While it's doubtful Tesla will pursue Nearby Interactions that could summon your car automatically as you walk out of your private plane, the automaker is also looking to incorporate UWB into its electric cars.

With Nearby Interactions, Apple will expand the ecosystem of smart devices that can unlock a door without you pulling out your iPhone by integrating accessories into the Find My device locator.

It may be simpler to set up your smart home with devices that support Nearby Interactions since they will only trigger when your U1-enabled device is near you than using smart home products with varying sensors.

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