We might be one step closer to an Internet-of-things reality.
University of Washington engineers have created a new wireless communication system that allows devices to interact with each other without relying on batteries or wires for power.
The new communication technique, which the researchers call “ambient backscatter,” takes advantage of the TV and cellular transmissions that already surround us around the clock. Two devices communicate with each other by reflecting the existing signals to exchange information. The researchers built small, battery-free devices with antennas that can detect, harness and reflect a TV signal, which then is picked up by other similar devices.
The technology could enable a network of devices and sensors to communicate with no power source or human attention needed.
“We can repurpose wireless signals that are already around us into both a source of power and a communication medium,” said lead researcher Shyam Gollakota, a UW assistant professor of computer science and engineering. “It’s hopefully going to have applications in a number of areas including wearable computing, smart homes and self-sustaining sensor networks.”
The researchers published their results at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Data Communication 2013 conference in Hong Kong, which began Aug. 13. They have received the conference’s best-paper award for their research.
“Our devices form a network out of thin air,” said co-author Joshua Smith, a UW associate professor of computer science and engineering and of electrical engineering. “You can reflect these signals slightly to create a Morse code of communication between battery-free devices.”
Smart sensors could be built and placed permanently inside nearly any structure, then set to communicate with each other. For example, sensors placed in a bridge could monitor the health of the concrete and steel, then send an alert if one of the sensors picks up a hairline crack. The technology can also be used for communication – text messages and emails, for example – in wearable devices, without requiring battery consumption.
The researchers tested the ambient backscatter technique with credit card-sized prototype devices placed within several feet of each other. For each device the researchers built antennas into ordinary circuit boards that flash an LED light when receiving a communication signal from another device.
Groups of the devices were tested in a variety of settings in the Seattle area, including inside an apartment building, on a street corner and on the top level of a parking garage. These locations ranged from less than half a mile away from a TV tower to about 6.5 miles away.
The Latest on: Internet of things
- Kepler Communications’ first satellite expands ‘Internet of Things’ to space on January 22, 2018 at 7:17 pm
News Brief: Toronto-based Kepler Communications says its first Ku-band telecommunications satellite is in working order after a Jan. 19 launch from China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The Kipp nanosatellite, which is about the size of a loaf of ... […]
- The Internet of Things: What Could Go Wrong on January 22, 2018 at 6:14 pm
Some of tech’s most influential companies may be engaged in internecine digital warfare, but they shared an eerily common vision at the Consumer Electronics Show. With lockstep precision, each company explained how it was uniquely positioned to stitch ... […]
- Internet of robotic things market to record sturdy growth by 2022 according to new research report on January 22, 2018 at 5:16 pm
The rising demand for next-generation sensors is one of the major factor which is increasing the demand for internet of robotic things in the global market. Next generation sensors enable the superior efficiency in the IoT which assist the technology to ... […]
- Powering the Smart Factory with the Internet of Things on January 22, 2018 at 10:42 am
To secure a smart future, manufacturers are leveraging the Internet of Things to reshape product development and production. Selecting the right infrastructure is crucial for success. The first half of the digital revolution was about using machines to ... […]
- FreeWave CMO Scott Allen Joins Panel at IoT Evolution Expo 2018Panel to Discuss the Impact of the Internet of Things for the Manufacturing Industry on January 22, 2018 at 8:42 am
BOULDER, Colo. , Jan. 22, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FreeWave Technologies, a leader in industrial, secure Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) wireless networking solutions, today announced its Chief Marketing Officer, Scott ... […]
- What is fog computing? Connecting the cloud to things on January 22, 2018 at 5:06 am
Fog is another layer of a distributed network environment and is closely associated with cloud computing and the internet of things (IoT). Public infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud vendors can be thought of as a high-level, global endpoint for data ... […]
- The Internet of Things (IoT) market is expected to grow from USD 170.57 billion in 2017 to USD 561.04 billion by 2022, at a C... on January 22, 2018 at 4:57 am
The Internet of Things (IoT) market is expected to grow from USD 170.57 billion in 2017 to USD 561.04 billion by 2022, at a C... View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-internet-of-things-iot-market-is-expected-to-grow-from-usd ... […]
- How To Keep The Internet Of Things From Becoming A Liability on January 21, 2018 at 5:01 pm
The internet of things (IoT) is more real every day as companies aim to connect assets, products, facilities and other “things” via the internet — and gather all sorts of data related to connected objects. As IoT becomes more mainstream ... […]
- 3 "Internet of Things" Stocks to Buy for 2018 on January 20, 2018 at 7:43 pm
One of the strongest corners of the market in 2017 was the semiconductor industry, and we expect that trend to continue into the New Year. Throughout the chip-making space, companies have successfully adapted to the changing needs of the consumer ... […]
- Internet of Things Finally Shows Signs of Becoming a Mass Market on January 17, 2018 at 11:52 am
A year ago at CES 2017, the proverbial Internet of Things looked full of promise, but also fairly immature. Many top electronics, home appliance and industrial equipment vendors had only begun fleshing out their IoT offerings, proprietary solutions were ... […]
via Google News and Bing News