Internet of things without batteries?
Wiliot, the inventor of the batteryless tags for the Internet of Things (IoT), has started mass production of her bluetooth tag. A new revolution in the world of "smart devices"?
Imagine a Bluetooth chip with an unlimited lifespan (because it doesn't need a battery), a small sticker with processing power and sensors, for a fraction of the price. All this for a wireless device that transmits signals to its environment via Bluetooth. This explanation can be found on the website of Williot and summarises very concisely why this technology is so special. The Wiliot IoT tag captures ambient energy and therefore does not need batteries.
The chips play an important role in the Internet of Things technology. Current IoT devices need a stable power source to function and communicate with the Internet. For smart packaging, Wiliot technology could provide smart labels that could, for example, continuously monitor the temperature of each product or it could actively track and locate products in warehouses and shops. The small Bluetooth chip is the size of a stamp and is capable of collecting - substantially - energy from ambient frequencies, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cellular network signals around the ARM processor present inside, allowing you to connect to a range of devices.
The energy is enough to power the chip and sensors, but also to communicate with any piece of infrastructure that supports Bluetooth (phones, routers, computers, TVs, etc.) What makes Wiliot technology special are its low entry cost and small form factor that makes it closer to a tag than a full IoT device. And unlike UHF RFID tags that require dedicated readers for coverage, Wiliot tags use existing infrastructure to harvest power and also to communicate and share data with the cloud.
The chip uses a customized operating system that runs on nanowatts power and communicates with the cloud via standard Bluetooth. The costs seem to be an order of magnitude cheaper than RFiD.
Technology doesn't stand still. Curious about the many possibilities!