One step closer to batteryless smart devices

One step closer to batteryless smart devices

Energy CIO Insights | Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The scientists at the University of Waterloo, Canada have taken a massive step towards designing battery-free smart devices. That is they do not need recharging either. These battery-free objects known as the Internet of Things (IoT)devices use an IP address for connectivity. These IoT devices are ideal for off the grid areas. This type of IoT devices lowers the maintenance cost as they are working batteryless.

Some of these devices are enabled with sensors to detect their environment. They are even capable of measuring the room's ambient temperature and determining light levels and motion. The Radio Frequency Identification(RFID) which uses radio waves to read and capture information stored on a chip attached to an object makes it possible for devices to sense the environment. Professor Omid Abari, Assistant professor at Waterloo’s Cheriton School of Computer Science, Professor Srinivasan Keshav, and Dr. Ju Wang of Cheriton School of Computer Science have found this way to hack RFID so that it can act as a keypad that responds to touch. RFID tags are providing only location and identification in their stock form.

One of the biggest challenges is making these IoT devices sustainable and batteryless.

The researchers prepared an article about their study and findings. It is published in the Proceedings of the 24th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (citation below).

 Dr. Wang opined regarding the hacking of the RFID tag,

“It is easy to do. First, the plastic cover of the RFID tag is removed, then a small section of the tag's antenna is cut out, then a sensor is attached across the cut edges of the antenna to complete the circuit."

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