Recently a team of Indian engineers has developed a technology using Wi-Fi router to power up the electronic devices at your home and workplaces wherever the router is located. The team of Indian engineers belongs to University of Washington.
The technology has been developed by Assistant Professor Shyam Gollakota and an electrical engineering doctoral student named Vamsi Talla. The technology has been awarded by Popular Science (which is one of the most prestigious magazine’s) in its annual “Best of What’s New” award which were announced on November 18th, 2015. Popular Science named the technology as Power Wi-Fi (PoWiFi) and also stated that the technology is one of the most innovative and game-changing technologies of the year.
Vamsi Talla is the lead author and declared that, “ For the First time we have shown that you can use Wi-Fi devices to power the sensors in the cameras and other devices. We also made a system that can co-exist as a Wi-Fi router and a power source—it doesn’t degrade the quality of your Wi-Fi signals while it’s powering electronic devices ”.
Earlier than this year, the team published an online paper in which they showed that how the energy can be harvested from Wi-Fi signals to power a simple temperature sensor, a grayscale camera and a charger for a jawbone activity tracking bracelet.
Though the technology is innovative and appreciable but still it faces the challenge and problem of powering up the low-power sensors and actuators, as the quantity increase and the size decreases, without plugging them into any power source.
As the proof-of-concept, the team demonstrated a demo of charging a grayscale, Omnivision VGA camera wirelessly from a distance of 17 feets which makes the camera chargeable enough to click an image every 35 minutes. Another demo was a charging of a jawbone battery Up 24 wearable fitness tracker from 0 to 41% in 2.5 hours.