Technology continues to progress at an accelerated speed in many areas while in others the speed is more gradual. Though there have been major improvements with computers, cell phones and other gadgets that can operate using a rechargeable battery, it is inevitable that the battery will run down and must be plugged into a power source to recharge; however, there is hope that soon this will change. That’s right, innovative technology is on the horizon that will create battery-free gadgets for your smart home.
Last year, Jess Bolluyt wrote an article that focused on seven new gadgets that should be available by 2020 and predictions such as implants or wearables will be available to monitor a user’s health is already happening. However, the last prediction regarding future gadgets not needing to be plugged in or a battery having to be recharged sounded more like Sci-Fi than reality. Yet, a report that appeared in MIT’s Technology Review suggests that fantasy can soon become a reality.
Gadgets That are Powered from the Air
Imagine internet devices that receive their power through telecommunication signals, such as Wi-Fi, instead of traditional batteries, through a power cord or rechargeable batteries; this would make small sensors and computers more widespread in use. Apparently, the MIT Technology Review not only talks about this groundbreaking technology but its’ availability could happen within the next two to three years! Mark Harris explains how these future gadgets will harvest energy through nearby Wi-Fi, TV, cell-phone or radio signals.
Demonstration of this technique was done by researchers from the University of Washington as Internet-connected temperature, a camera and motion sensors were powered by this method. Though transferring power without the use of a wire is nothing new; yet, being able to have a device communicate without a conventional power source is difficult. Airwaves from TV, radio and other telecommunication technologies contain lesser amounts of energy, so you can imagine how difficult it would be for that type of power source to be used to power-up today’s devices.
How This Technology Can Impact a Smart Home
Since the research is justified and that this innovative technology can be made available for commercial use within the next few years, one question would be the cost of making such devices? The researchers think that small passive Wi-Fi devices could be inexpensive to construct, possibly less than $1. That means the price tag for these gadgets would be affordable for customers to sample how effective these devices would work.
Another question would be what can of products could this technology be used for? Well, this could have an enormous impact on smart home products considering the energy that would power these gadgets are available within an average home. Products such as smoke alarms, security cameras and temperature sensors could operate without having the concern of changing batteries.
Considering how dependent society has become with using our mobile devices, some feel that mobile networks established throughout the globe are famously energy inefficient. Pioneering innovations will be needed and are predicted to occur by 2020 such as engineering in radio that will impact positively on quality of life, the environment and the economy of the world. This could mean renewable energy that can be used in a smart home might extend outwards depending on certain factors.
Nostradamus has been famously known for the many predictions he made centuries ago of what was to come for mankind; some believe his predictions were accurate while others feel the opposite. Predictions in the direction technology is heading is nothing new with some being way off while others proved to be accurate. While there are two years separating us from 2020, the research stated in the MIT Technology Review seems to support that new tech will lead to battery-free gadgets for an individual’s smart home.