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'Ambient Backscatter' Could Power Devices in the Future:

from The ARRL Letter on September 19, 2013
Website: http://www.arrl.org/
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'Ambient Backscatter' Could Power Devices in the Future:

University of Washington http://www.washington.edu/ researchers believe we may be one step closer to an "Internet-of-things" reality. UW engineers have created a new wireless communication system that allows devices to interact with each other without relying on batteries or wires for power. Using something they call "ambient backscatter http://abc.cs.washington.edu/," these devices can interact with users and communicate with each other without using batteries. They exchange information by reflecting or absorbing existing radio signals. Two devices communicate by reflecting the existing signals to exchange information. The researchers built small, battery-free devices with antennas that can detect, harness and reflect a television 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 http://homes.cs.washington.edu/%7Egshyam/, 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 http://www.sigcomm.org/ August 2013 conference http://conferences.sigcomm.org/sigcomm/2013/index.php in Hong Kong. Their research received the conference's "Best Paper" award. "Our devices form a network out of thin air," said co-author Joshua Smith http://sensor.cs.washington.edu/jrs.html, 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."

The original article and video http://dbaseserver.mistermail.nl/t/1362160/36554732/338450/0/ are on the UW website. For more information, contact Gollakota and Smith at abc@cs.washington.edu. -- The University of Washington

Source:

The ARRL Letter

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