According to The Verge, semiconductor company Wiliot will be releasing a solution that might solve the problem of dying device batteries. Come 2020, the company will widely release a paper-thin Bluetooth chip that will be completely battery-free.
The chip, which will be about the size of a postage stamp, will get its power from the air, The Verge says: it will “harvest energy from the ambient radio frequencies around us, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular signals, and use them to power a Bluetooth-equipped ARM processor that can be connected to a variety of sensors.”
With its small size and freedom from batteries, Wiliot told The Verge that the device “can be produced cheaply and mounted to almost anything,” which can help make decision makers’ jobs easier, increase their mobility on job sites, and save money on power costs. Plus, Wiliot eliminated many of the components associated with traditional Bluetooth, which lowers this new solution’s sticker price.
While the Bluetooth chip’s features are neat, their use cases are even neater. For example, The Verge says that the chip can be embedded in certain items and provide decision makers access to the items’ digital manual, especially after the paper one goes missing.
The chip might also be used for tracking items through a supply chain, or serve as a temperature sensor that indicates when items are too hot or cold. It could even be used in a business’s breakroom, or in an end user’s home as a pressure sensor to “detect when a food container is empty and automatically order a replacement, thereby making so-called smart fridges truly smart.”
All in all, the ultimate use for this Bluetooth chip is to help all devices connect to each other through the Internet of Things. “We believe that disposable electronics based on battery-free, low-cost systems are the foundation for future IoT systems,” said Tal Tamir, Wiliot CEO and co-founder of Wiliot. “Recycling the radiation around us to power sticker-size sensors can enable new ways for consumers to interact with products that were previously not feasible…Without batteries or other high-cost components, tags have unlimited power and lifespan, so can be embedded inside of products that were previously unconnected to the Internet of Things.”
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