Batteries are sometimes the bane of mobile devices and sensors. These power supplies are not reliable and must be recharged or replaced periodically, which may become the biggest weakness of the Internet of Things (IoT); researchers at the University of Washington think of it. A good idea: by collecting energy from existing radio, television, and other wireless signals, they have developed a way to make low-energy devices such as sensors and wearable devices connect without the need for batteries or wires. .
In addition to using radio frequency as a power source, engineers at the University of Washington have also discovered ways to reuse existing Wi-Fi signals to provide networking capabilities for batteryless devices; this technology, called Wi-Fi Backscatter, is the first to be known. Solutions that enable battery-free devices to be linked to Wi-Fi infrastructure are based on earlier research that allows low-power devices such as temperature sensors to harvest energy from broadcast, television, and wireless signals.
The University of Washington says the challenge for this new technology is that traditional low-power networks such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth consume two of the energy that can be collected from TV broadcasts, cellular networks or Wi-Fi transmitters. Three times. Wi-Fi Backscatter is a communication mechanism that allows RF-powered devices to encode data by reflecting (reflecTIng) or not reflecting signals from Wi-Fi routers; existing devices and sensors can detect those by The change in Wi-Fi signal strength produced by the reflection. And because Wi-Fi Backscatter is only a reflection, not a wireless signal, it only needs less than 10mW of power to communicate with networked devices.
Schematic diagram of Wi-Fi Backscatter technology developed by the University of Washington, USA
Joshua Smith, an associate professor of electrical engineering in electrical engineering at the University of Washington, said: "You might wonder how a low-power device can cause small changes in wireless signals? But if you look closely, you will find that all Wi-Fi signals in the environment have this reflection. "Wi-Fi Backscatter can reach 1kbps communication speed, the distance between devices can be up to 2.1 meters, which seems not so impressive, so the University of Washington researchers intend to pull the communication distance Up to 20 meters long; the team also applied for a patent for the technology and plans to set up a company to promote.
As early as the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the well-known inventor Nikola Tesla proposed wireless power supply technology, but the related solutions have not been able to replace the AC wires everywhere; and many manufacturers in the industry today are developing short-range wireless. Charging technology. Shyam Gollakota, an associate professor of computer science engineering at the University of Washington, said: "To get the IoT off, we must provide connectivity for battery-free devices that can reach billions of units and are embedded in everyday products."
Gollakota pointed out: "We can now have the device with wireless link function and consume less energy than the average Wi-Fi device." Bryce Kellogg, a Ph.D. student in electrical engineering at the University of Washington who is also involved in Wi-Fi Backscatter research and development, said the technology is the biggest. One of the advantages is that existing home wireless routers can communicate with other home smart sensors and IoT devices through software updates, which greatly reduces the threshold for consumers to deploy new technologies.
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