Thumbing through our timelines and newsfeeds has become the primary aim for a cell phone. But all the fun and distraction does come at a cost; the hassle of charging the phone battery after a few hours.
In comes “Passive WiFi,” which is the latest technology devised by the University of Washington. The technology decouples analog and digital workings of radio transmissions and uses the nondraining and efficient digital side to keep the WiFi rolling while saving the battery.
Co-author of the technology and doctoral student Vamsi Talla noted,
“all the networking, heavy-lifting and power-consuming pieces are done by the one plugged-in device. The passive devices are only reflecting to generate the Wi-Fi packets, which is a really energy-efficient way to communicate.”
Passive Wi-Fi reroutes the analog functions to one device in a network fixed into the wall. The research paper states:
“Passive Wi-Fi transmissions can be decoded on any Wi-Fi device including routers, mobile phones and tablets.”
This technique simply bounces the information around, and when it gets to the device, it has just 15 to 60 microwatts of power, which is 10,000 times less than the usual devices.
The paper’s co-author and assistant professor Shyam Gollakota spoke on the design,
“We wanted to see if we could achieve Wi-Fi transmissions using almost no power at all. That’s basically what Passive Wi-Fi delivers. We can get Wi-Fi for 10,000 times less power than the best thing that’s out there.”
For now, the WiFi connection ran 11 megabits per second slower than the normal WiFi speeds. This is still higher than Bluetooth, and the team is looking to work on improving the connection speed.
The project has suddenly become a star, and despite waiting to be peer-reviewed it was listed in the top 10 innovative technologies for 2016 by MIT Technology Review.
What are your thoughts on the low battery consuming WiFi? Comment below!