Wireless sensor that weighs as much as a grain of sand and can draw the power it needs from neighbouring wireless networks, was built by a team of Dutch researchers.
As the Internet of Things – network of physical objects embedded with sensors, software, and network connectivity, which allows them exchange data – is growing quickly, researchers estimate that by the end of the decade, it will consist of 40 to 50 billion of connected appliances, watches, garments, and more.
However, with all these devices connected to one another, security may become a more serious issue. For instance, in the past years home security cameras and baby monitors, as well as other internet-connected devices, have been susceptible to hacking attacks.
There is also another ‘growing pain’, namely the power needed for the internet-connected devices to function properly. Luckily, researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands may have come up with a great solution to that problem. They created a wireless temperature sensor which charges itself with the help nearby electromagnetic waves (i.e. it charges itself through wireless waves when connected to the Internet).
The 0.08-inch (2.03 millimetres) sensor will be able to power itself when it is placed near a wireless router. However, for that to work, the distance between the sensor and the router has to be no more than about an inch (approximately two and a half centimetres).
Researchers say that they are working on extending that range to one yard (0.9 metres) over the course of a year. The wireless temperature sensor will eventually work even when placed up to sixteen feet (4.87 metres) away from a router.
Peter Baltus, a professor in high-frequency electronics and director of the Centre for Wireless Technology, Eindhoven, at Eindhoven University of Technology, said that the wireless sensor can work even underneath a layer of concrete, paint, or plaster.
In the future, buildings could have small humidity, temperature, or light wireless sensors embedded in their walls. Moreover, tiny sensors that control heating, cooling, light, wireless payment, etc. could also replace current battery-powered devices, according to the researchers.
A single wireless router could power several of these sensors in the future, researches at Eindhoven University of Technology stated.
Image Source: static.tue.nl