The USB Implementers Forum has finally approved the first six wireless USB products allowed to use the cable-free connectivity technology. Dell and Lenovo come on board as early adopters of the new USB standard, announcing the first notebooks with embedded Certified Wireless USB chips.
Dell is rolling out its new wireless USB certified Inspiron 1720 next month, a mobile media notebook sporting a high resolution UltraSharp display, 7.1 surround sound, 2-megapixel webcam and a Blu-ray player. Likewise, Lenovo is already selling the more modest 14.1-inch ThinkPad T61 with support for standard Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB out of the box.
Wireless USB uses ultra-wideband technology, which enables speeds up to 480Mb/s at 10 feet, falling to 110Mb/s at 30 feet. Much faster than current Bluetooth connections, while consuming less power than Wi-Fi.
Additionally, D-Link and IOGear announced certified wireless USB adapters users can plug into USB ports to add the functionality to notebooks and PCs that don't have it built in. Of course, the technology still has to hit the mainstream before we can see a new generation of peripherals that carry embedded wireless USB. For now, the most likely use will be with standard USB peripherals connected to wireless USB hubs like those of D-Link and IOGear.