Researchers at the University of Waterloo have taken a huge step towards making smart devices that do not use batteries or require charging.
These battery-free objects, which feature an IP address for internet connectivity, are known as Internet of Things (IoT) devices. If an IoT device can operate without a battery it lowers maintenance costs and allows the device to be placed in areas that are off the grid.
Many of these IoT devices have sensors in them to detect their environment, from a room’s ambient temperature and light levels to sound and motion, but one of the biggest challenges is making these devices sustainable and battery-free.
Professor Omid Abari, Postdoctoral Fellow Ju Wang and Professor Srinivasan Keshav from Waterloo’s Cheriton School of Computer Science have found a way to hack radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, the ubiquitous squiggly ribbons of metal with a tiny chip found in various objects, and give the devices the ability to sense the environment.
“It’s really easy to do,” said Wang. “First, you remove the plastic cover from the RFID tag, then cut out a small section of the tag’s antenna with scissors, then attach a sensor across the cut bits of the antenna to complete the circuit.”
In their stock form, RFID tags provide only identification and location. It’s the hack the research team has done — cutting the tag’s antenna and placing a sensing device across it — that gives the tag the ability to sense its environment.
To give a tag eyes, the researchers hacked an RFID tag with a phototransistor, a tiny sensor that responds to different levels of light.
By exposing the phototransistor to light, it changed the characteristics of the RFID’s antenna, which in turn caused a change in the signal going to the reader. They then developed an algorithm on the reader side that monitors change in the tag’s signal, which is how it senses light levels.
Among the simplest of hacks is adding a switch to an RFID tag so it can act as a keypad that responds to touch.
“We see this as a good example of a complete software-hardware system for IoT devices,” Abari said. “We hacked simple hardware — we cut RFID tags and placed a sensor on them. Then we designed new algorithms and combined the software and hardware to enable new applications and capabilities.
“Our main contribution is showing how simple it is to hack an RFID tag to create an IoT device. It’s so easy a novice could do it.”
Learn more: Batteryless smart devices closer to reality
The Latest on: Smart devices
via Google News
The Latest on: Smart devices
- How A Cheap Smart ID Card Reader Sold On Amazon Became A National Security Riskon May 18, 2022 at 1:37 pm
DoD employees and contractors, along with military personal, use ID cards known as Common Access Cards (CAC) to access controlled spaces, as well as computer systems and networks. Cardholders don’t ...
- Can Alexa Devices Make Calls? Yep, and Here's How It Workson May 18, 2022 at 1:04 pm
You can call your contacts, leave a message and more with your Amazon Echo. We'll walk you through what you need to know.
- Vampire Devices Are Real, and How Much Power You're Wasting Will Shock Youon May 18, 2022 at 1:00 pm
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a TV in standby mode uses hundreds of dollars worth of electricity a year to keep that LED on. And it’s not just your TV—there are devices all over your home ...
- How to convert your window blinds into smart blindson May 18, 2022 at 12:55 pm
Smart blinds can be prohibitively expensive, but DIY conversion kits can save money and provide all of the same benefits.
- $25 Kasa power strip on Amazon lets you control 3 devices with Alexaon May 18, 2022 at 11:56 am
Power strips on Amazon are great, but it should go without saying that smart plugs are essential tech in any smart home. They also happen to provide what is by far the easiest way to add smart ...
- Amazon’s Fire TV smart TVs and streaming media devices are on saleon May 18, 2022 at 10:03 am
Today's deals feature a vast selection of Amazon's Fire TV Smart TVs and streaming devices, including the Amazon Fire TV Omni Series 4K UHD smart TV , Fire TV Stick 4K Max, and more ...
- Samsung starts verifying Matter-compatible smart home deviceson May 18, 2022 at 6:14 am
Now that the Matter smart home standard is finally close to launch, Samsung is doing its part to help device makers get ready. The company's SmartThings unit has launched an early access program that ...
- Smart Home Devices Market May Set a New Epic Growth Story | Samsung, BSH, GEon May 18, 2022 at 5:55 am
The Latest Released Smart Home Devices market study has evaluated the future growth potential of Global Smart Home Devices market and provides information and useful stats on market structure and size ...
- Fire TV Deals From $20: Snag Streaming Devices and Smart TVs for Lesson May 17, 2022 at 11:59 am
Amazon has marked down almost all of its own Fire TVs, streaming media devices and other smart TV options with Fire TV built-in. You can access top streaming services from a number of devices, but for ...
via Bing News