Intel says that a USB 2.0 dongle will bring UWB's simplicity to computers within a year: Wireless USB has a great potential to replace a myriad of proprietary and confusing standards for wired and wireless connections that are designed to hook peripherals into a computer. Combine the 480 Mbps short-range speed of UWB with the 480 Mbps wired-speed of USB 2.0 and it's a perfect (not coincidental) match.
Intel said at their Developer Forum this last week that a USB 2.0 dongle would add ultrawideband to computers with the ease of plugging it in. The company didn't explain association, though: if I have a stack of Wireless USB-enabled hard drives sitting around a bunch of computers, how do I associate a given hard drive with a given Wireless USB adapter?
The devil is in this detail, as this is what has rendered Bluetooth complex--it uses pairing, or entering the same pass digits or phrase on two devices to connect them--and Wi-Fi susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks. The Bluetooth SIG told me they're trying to pare down the complexity, pun intended, while the two leading Wi-Fi chipmakers, Atheros and Broadcom, each have their own one-button association method that combines connection and security.
Wireless USB will need something equally slick. I can suppose a system in which you hit a button on a drive or other peripheral and then enter that device's four-digit Wireless USB number printed on the back or underside in a piece of computer software to associate it. UWB has terrific security in that the range of the fastest version doesn't penetrate far so you have to be right on top of a device operating at 480 Mbps to even start to hack it.
Or so I think. How soon after the first UWB devices ship do we get UWB Crack? Maybe days, maybe decades. [link via Engadget]