Connecting the Internet of Things

Ask any “prophet” of information technology and they will say that the Internet of Things (IoT) is the next big thing.

The IoT is supposed to help connect your wallet that was left behind on your sofa with your mobile phone or connect the chips to tell you where you left them. That means, of course, we’ll need to make some changes to allow the ordinary objects to talk to the rest of the world. They will, however, need power at least to run their communications.

The power source can come from the electricity grid or a battery but that doesn’t always mean convenience. Dr. Shyam Gollakota and his colleagues at the University of Washington, in Seattle, think they found a solution to a part of the problem. They are suggesting to reconfigure a chip’s communications so that they need almost no power to work.

The technology involves around the chips not needing to generate its own carrier wave to reduce a chip’s power consumption. Moreover, even though Dr. Gollakota’s concept uses batteries, this current could instead be extracted from the part of the carrier wave that is absorbed.