World : Battery-free IoT chip claims to harvest energy from thin air

This week in IoT, a new chip claims to be able to power itself solely off the deluge of radio signals surrounding us.

If you hear about a device that can be powered passively just by the air around it, you might be (rightly) sceptical. However, according to The Verge, a start-up going by the name of Wiliot seems to be on to something with a new super-thin Bluetooth chip that it promises could revolutionise the internet of things (IoT).

Smaller than a credit card, the battery-free chip supposedly harvests its energy from the ambient radio frequencies that surround us constantly, such as Wi-Fi signals and our own mobile phones.

The fact that it can be produced very cheaply and fit into most spaces has led Wiliot to suggest it could be used for almost anything. One example would be to include it in the label of an item of clothing that could communicate with a washing machine to let it know what the right setting to wash it would be.

The future of the idea and the company seems quite bright, having recently secured $30m in a funding round, as well as having both Amazon and Samsung as investors. Wiliot hopes the new chip will be commercially available in 2020 following a limited release this year.


Source :

Smart Grid Bulletin July 2019

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