• 4 minutes Some Good News on Climate Change Maybe
  • 7 minutes Cuba Charges U.S. Moving Special Forces, Preparing Venezuelan Intervention
  • 12 minutes Washington Eyes Crackdown On OPEC
  • 15 minutes Solar and Wind Will Not "Save" the Climate
  • 4 hours Amazon’s Exit Could Scare Off Tech Companies From New York
  • 3 hours And for the final post in this series of 3: we’ll have a look at the Decline Rates in the Permian
  • 3 hours Most Wanted Man In Latin America For AP Agency: Maduro Reveals Secret Meetings With US Envoy
  • 10 hours Former United Nations Scientist says the UN is lying about Global Warming and Sea-Level changes
  • 6 hours Prospective Cause of Little Ice Age
  • 29 mins And the War on LNG is Now On
  • 21 hours L.A. Mayor Ditches Gas Plant Plans
  • 24 hours Qatar Petroleum, Exxon To Proceed With $10 bln Texas LNG Project
  • 20 hours Russia to Turkey: You Can't Have Syrian Safe Zone Without Assad's Consent
  • 17 hours Solar Array Required to Match Global Oil Consumption
  • 4 hours *Happy Dance* ... U.S. Shale Oil Slowdown
  • 19 hours Europe Adds Saudi Arabia to Dirty-Money Blacklist
Can U.S. Gas Production Keep Up With Demand?

Can U.S. Gas Production Keep Up With Demand?

Demand for natural gas, specifically…

Mobile Wi-Fi Gizmos Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Batteries

Forget the better mousetrap. Research today seems focused on making a better battery – smaller but with greater capacity, lighter, and quick to recharge. That’s the key to truly portable, useful electronic devices.

Unless, of course, the battery becomes unnecessary altogether.

The key to most portable devices is the ability to send and receive signals, whether to make or accept cell phone calls, to receive television and radio signals, and to communicate with the Internet via Wi-Fi. Now researchers at the University of Washington say they can provide power too, cutting batteries from the equation.

The possibilities of such technology are virtually endless. For example, devices that can communicate without relying on electrical connections – whether from a wall socket or even a battery – could dramatically reduce the cost of and increase the ease of installing sensors in homes that control their maintenance remotely, whether to fix a refrigerator that’s acting up or adjust central heating.

Their new technology, called Wi-Fi Backscatter, could be what will make the Internet of Things a reality.

Take home thermostats. Stick one on the wall of a home’s living room and it can monitor the heat there, but only there, unless the builder had the foresight and the money to wire the entire home to place a temperature sensor in every room to ensure even heat or cooling.

Now, though, a homeowner can install inexpensive battery-free devices with Wi-Fi capability virtually anywhere to provide the furnace or air conditioner with the information to maintain a constant temperature everywhere.

“You could throw these things wherever you want and never have to think about them again,” Shyam Gollakota, an assistant professor at the University of Washington who worked on the project, told the MIT Technology Review.

In 2013, the same group of researchers demonstrated a similar design, although without Wi-Fi, but the devices could communicate only with other devices equipped with the same technology. But with added Wi-Fi connectivity, the devices can link up with any other unit through Wi-Fi signals.

Researchers have tried to collect power from radio signals for years. There’s enough energy available to run low-power circuits, Gollakota said, but not enough to transmit signals. So his team devised a way to have their devices communicate without out actively transmitting. Instead, he said, they send messages by recycling ambient radio waves rather than generating their own.

Here’s how to make a smart phone call based on Wi-Fi Backscatter technology: The device toggles its antenna between modes that alternately absorb and reflect a signal from an accessible Wi-Fi router. The absorption cycle powers the phone from the Wi-Fi signal, while the reflective mode uses that power to send its own signal.

The team plans to present its findings at the ACM Sigcomm conference in Chicago on Aug. 17-22.

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News