A team of researchers from the University of Washington (UW) has successfully demonstrated that a WiFi router is capable of providing far field wireless power – without compromising the network’s communication performance.
More specifically, the team managed to power temperature and camera sensors at distances of 20 and 17 feet, respectively. In addition, the University of Washington researchers wirelessly recharged nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion coin-cell batteries at distances of up to 28 feet.
Commenting on the above-mentioned report, Patrick Gill, a Principal Research Scientist at Rambus, noted that recent advances in far field wireless power would help accelerate the development and deployment of next-gen smart sensors.
“Consumers do not want to have to change the batteries or run power wires to the technology they deploy in the home,” he explained. “Provided the power draw at the nodes is not too great, medium-range wireless power transmission could make the user’s life a lot simpler, allowing individuals to place electronic technology wherever they like in the home.”
Gill also noted that it was important for the industry to see proofs of concept like the one presented by the University of Washington team.
“UW researchers successfully demonstrated how several microwatts of reliable power can be transferred to devices around the house,” he added. “This kind of work opens the door to a new world where tiny sensors, switches and indicators are ubiquitous.”