Researchers Create a No-Power Internet of Things
Researchers at the University of Washington have devised a way for battery-free devices to skim a connective link from errant WiFi signals, potentially increasing the reach of the Internet of Things to include just about any thing.
What's the Latest?
The so-called Internet of Things promises an infinitely connected network of near infinite information. In the near future, network-connected sensors will measure everything from your baby's heart rate to the temperature in your house to the moisture levels on a factory floor. There's just one problem: any connected device must have a sustained power source such as a battery or an electrical cord in order to transmit information to the Internet. That means heavier, more costly devices that use more power. Having a way to inexpensively power and connect these devices--potentially numbering in the billions--is currently keeping them from market success.
What's the Big Idea?
Researchers at the University of Washington have devised a way for battery-free devices to skim a connective link from errant WiFi signals, potentially increasing the reach of the Internet of Things to include just about any thing. The new tool, called a backscatter, looks like a thin plate of metal that works by "looking" for WiFi signals moving between the router and a laptop or smartphone.
They encode data by either reflecting or not reflecting the Wi-Fi router’s signals, slightly changing the wireless signal. Wi-Fi-enabled devices like laptops and smartphones would detect these minute changes and receive data from the tag. In this way, your [battery-free] smart watch could download emails or offload your workout data onto a Google spreadsheet.
Read more at University of Washington News
Photo credit: Shutterstock
A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.
- Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
- The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
- The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.
- The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
- Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
- Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.