Wireless Communication Without a Battery

The University of Washington is developing wireless devices that can operate without a battery. The devices operate by reflecting radio waves in the air. Although I can think of many uses for these devices, the article points out one in particular.

For example, sensors placed in a bridge could monitor the health of the concrete and steel, then send an alert if one of the sensors picks up a hairline crack.

After reading that, I was struck at the amount of data that could collected. Just think of all the bridges in your city/state/country. All this data is going to need analysis. Which alerts require immediate action? This sounds like a bigdata problem to me.

How can you imagine these devices being used?






4 responses to “Wireless Communication Without a Battery”

  1. Ankit Sharma Avatar

    First of all I’ll be very happy if such a device is created and used as it will be possible to generate whole lot of data without worrying about the battery/power. Thereby more data scientist/engineers will be required to digg this massive data.
    On the serious note, this technology can bring revolution in almost all sectors including Aerospace where Wireless Sensor Networking is still in labs. It can be useful for smart Automobile/Aerospace health management programs.

    1. Ryan Swanstrom Avatar

      Ha, more need for data scientists, good point. I also agree this technology could have huge impacts. Thanks for commenting.


  2. Harsha Srivatsa Avatar

    As someone who is interested in sensor design, I think this capability while promising will be used more as a backup rather than a primary power source. Like the example used for smartphones.

    The deployment of sensors will definitely advance the field of predictive maintenance / asset usage optimization from data acquisition/capture techniques currently done in structural health monitoring. It will help in root cause analysis, alerting and next best action.

    1. Ryan Swanstrom Avatar

      That does make sense. Thanks for the comment.

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