Universal serial bus (USB) is an economical and convenient connection for both industrial and commercial applications; USB continues to replace many legacy serial connections (i.e. RS-232, 485).

However, for some industrial and embedded solutions, wireless USB is becoming the choice interface for enabling connectivity to new applications. Products are moving to wireless USB to eliminate cables and to gain the convenience of always being connected.

Medical example

In an operating room, medical devices increasingly support wireless to reduce the maze of wires that are on the floor. Today, cables are running everywhere including around the table, under it, and even on top of a patient. If you can have a remote monitor device on the patient and a base station three to ten meters away over in the side of the room picking up the data without having another cable, it is a big advantage.

Industrial example

Typically, industrial applications gather measurements and transmit the information back to a base station. If the data must be transmitted more than 3 meters or involves high-frequency continuous real-time sampling, wireless USB is a good low-cost choice. USB’s 480 megabits per second capability (at short distances) allows for even live video data with the convenience of being wireless.

Wireless USB Requires No Software Changes

Wireless USB is a great choice for applications that have traditionally relied on a serial interface. It is software compatible with regular USB which minimizes your driver development and debugging costs. For example, instead of switching to Bluetooth when you want to create a wireless connection option for a printer, you could use wireless USB instead and use the existing USB driver. Little or no change to the driver would be required. Software applications already supporting USB would be ready to go.