University of Washington engineers have developed a novel technology that uses a Wi-Fi router — a source of ubiquitous but untapped energy in indoor environments — to power devices.
The Power Over Wi-Fi (PoWiFi) system is one of the most innovative and game-changing technologies of the year, according to Popular Science, which included it in the magazine’s annual “Best of What’s New 2015” awards announced Wednesday.
The technology made headlines earlier this year when researchers published an online paper showing how they harvested energy from Wi-Fi signals to power a simple temperature sensor, a low-resolution grayscale camera and a charger for a Jawbone activity tracking bracelet.
“For the first time we’ve shown that you can use Wi-Fi devices to power the sensors in cameras and other devices,” said lead author Vamsi Talla, a UW electrical engineering doctoral student. “We also made a system that can co-exist as a Wi-Fi router and a power source — it doesn’t degrade the quality of your Wi-Fi signals while it’s powering devices.”
PoWiFi could help enable development of the Internet of Things, where small computing sensors are embedded in everyday objects like cell phones, coffee makers, washing machines, air conditioners, mobile devices, allowing those devices to “talk” to each other. But one major challenge is how to energize those low-power sensors and actuators without needing to plug them into a power source as they become smaller and more numerous.
The team of UW computer science and electrical engineers found that the peak energy contained in untapped, ambient Wi-Fi signals often came close to meeting the operating requirements for some low-power devices. But because the signals are sent intermittently, energy “leaked” out of the system during silent periods.
The team fixed that problem by optimizing a router to send out superfluous “power packets” on Wi-Fi channels not currently in use — essentially beefing up the Wi-Fi signal for power delivery — without affecting the quality and speed of data transmission. The team also developed sensors that can be integrated in devices to harvest the power.
In their proof-of-concept experiments, the team demonstrated that the PoWiFi system could wirelessly power a grayscale, low-power Omnivision VGA camera from 17 feet away, allowing it to store enough energy to capture an image every 35 minutes.
It also re-charged the battery of a Jawbone Up24 wearable fitness tracker from zero to 41 percent in 2.5 hours.
The researchers also tested the PoWiFi system in six homes. Users typically didn’t notice deterioration in web page loading or video streaming experiences, showing the technology could successfully deliver power via Wi-Fi in real-world conditions without degrading network performance.
Although initial experiments harvested relatively small amounts of power, the UW team believes there’s opportunity for make the PoWiFi system more efficient and robust.
“In the future, PoWi-Fi could leverage technology power scaling to further improve the efficiency of the system to enable operation at larger distances and power numerous more sensors and applications,” said co-author Shyam Gollakota, assistant professor of computer science and engineering.
The Latest on: Power Over Wi-Fi
via Google News
The Latest on: Power Over Wi-Fi
- Google has more control over Android than we realize, and right now, companies like Huawei have no other choice but to accept that on May 22, 2019 at 11:04 am
Google's Android operating system (OS) may be open source, but as we have been reminded this week, the tech giant has complete control over the apps and services ... controlled by phone manufacturers ... […]
- Senet Low Power Wide Area Virtual Network (LVN™) Wins Best IoT Connectivity Solution at Inaugural IoT World Awards on May 22, 2019 at 8:29 am
The Senet LVN was selected for its unique approach to providing Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN ... at upcoming events including the WBA Wireless Global Congress, May 20-23, Atlanta; American ... […]
- Lifeproof LIFEACTÍV Power Pack 10 Qi review: Wireless charging on the go on May 22, 2019 at 8:09 am
The Lifeproof LIFEACTÍV Power Pack 10 Qi is a wireless charging battery pack that’s slim and rugged and fits perfectly in a bag or purse. Smartphone battery life has improved year over year but ... […]
- iPM Wireless Charging Docks with Removable Charging Pad, save 53% on May 22, 2019 at 8:00 am
With 10W of charging power and pure copper induction coils ... portable You can find out more information about this great deal on the iPM Wireless Charging Docks over at our deals store at the link ... […]
- Create Cost-effective Smart Lighting Systems with Eight-port Switch that Supports New IEEE 802.3bt Power over Ethernet (PoE) Standard on May 22, 2019 at 6:41 am
Power over Ethernet (PoE) is rising in popularity for these systems ... the PDS-408G connects separate systems such as lighting, sensors, HVAC and Wi-Fi ® access points over a single switch. The ... […]
- Clear Blue Technologies Launches Energy-as-a-Service for Wireless Power on May 22, 2019 at 6:00 am
Over 70% of new electricity connections will rely on off ... was founded on a vision of delivering clean, managed, “wireless power” to meet the global need for reliable, low-cost, solar and hybrid ... […]
- Telematics Wireless to Provide Networked Lighting Controls to Georgia Power on May 21, 2019 at 1:17 am
Georgia Power chose the Telematics T-Light Galaxy ... Units worldwide in dozens of cities. Telematics Wireless has also deployed over 15 million cutting-edge wireless devices and water systems ... […]
- Longview IoT Boosts Energy and Wireless Efficiency on May 20, 2019 at 3:26 pm
Wi-Fi voice and messaging built into gateways provide total communications solution for remote areas. Solar power battery backup allows for remote installations and a proprietary firmware-over-the-air ... […]
- This $100 wireless charging power bank is only $45 today on May 14, 2019 at 7:55 am
Power up to four devices on the move with USB, USB-C and Qi wireless charging. Portable power banks have ... to keep your entire tech collection energized, and it's on sale for over 50 percent off ... […]
- Laguna Beach cautiously makes plans for updating wireless infrastructure amid debate over 5G on May 11, 2019 at 2:30 am
The council Tuesday sought to claim the city’s regulatory power over the expansion of wireless technologies in the city. “My goal would be to minimize [the number of antennas and cell towers], have as ... […]
via Bing News