Over the next few years, new technology standards will transform the way we interact with our homes and places of work – throughout Indiana, the U.S. and the world. This is being accelerated by the thirst for enhanced user experiences (people want both safety and convenience, especially given the ongoing pandemic) and growing cross-platform ecosystems (provided by megatechs like Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung and others). Realistically, what will this mean for your home or business?

Ultra-Wideband (UWB) will create new everyday conveniences

If you have electronic access to your house or office today, you are used to manually scanning a badge or mobile credential, or even entering a PIN on a keypad, to open a door. Now, imagine you have nothing but your phone in your pocket. As you approach an entrance, the system identifies and verifies you and opens the door!

This scenario will soon be a reality thanks to Ultra-Wideband (UWB). UWB is a wireless technology that offers peer-to-peer ranging and positioning capabilities (think localized GPS). As you approach the entryway, UWB can be used securely to determine that you intend to enter. The door opens – handsfree and seamless.

This may all be closer than you think. UWB has been quietly slipping into our everyday devices. Industry-leading manufacturers have already released smartphones with UWB technology. Building on that ecosystem, smart tags and speakers are incorporating the technology now, too.

But UWB isn’t just for home or building access. Adoption has already started in the automotive industry to securely recognize you and unlock your car as you approach. Anticipate UWB changing our future interactions with building automation, computers, public transportation – and even aiding with new post-pandemic norms like social distancing during flu and COVID seasons.

Bringing technology together will simplify experiences

You may have noticed the growing number of home gadgets that can “work with” Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant and the like. However, they rarely work with all the popular ecosystems – and it may be hard to choose just one platform to use if you want all of your favorite connected-home solutions or just enjoy experimenting with the latest and greatest smart products. Ultimately, the purchasing process becomes complicated and frustrating, creating consumer confusion and fatigue.

Well, there’s work being done out there to address this, too. Enter new industry standards aimed at driving the convergence of existing ecosystems to help minimize consumer confusion, improve reliability and ensure a high level of security: Announced in late 2019, Matter (formerly known as Project Connected Home IP or CHIP) “plans to develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard to increase compatibility among smart home products” and has the support of megatechs as well as other industry-leading IoT companies.

This standard will talk over common networks (like Wi-Fi and Thread), so there is hope that some of your current home gadgets can be updated to support it. Devices all talking a common language will simplify the connected home and provide a better experience for all.

Seamless is the future

Looking forward, these developments along with other emerging technologies will dramatically change everyday access, making it more seamless. The benefits of convenience, safety and simplicity will eventually unite across our homes and our places of work, as well as other everyday environments in our communities, ultimately creating new expectations for the way we live, work and thrive.

Ryan Kincaid is Global Technology Leader, Connectivity, at Allegion – a global safety and security solutions provider with its Americas regional offices in Carmel as well as a technology center and two manufacturing locations in Indianapolis. Ryan works to transform product needs into technology roadmaps, identifying relevant, emerging wireless technologies and readying them for integration into Allegion products.