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Stanford researchers look forward to battery-free WiFi IoT devices

Researchers at Stanford University claim they have brought a self-supporting Internet of Things network based on WiFi closer to reality. The technology, called backscattering, has been a topic of academic interest for several years, and works by harvesting electromagnetic energy from the air to power IoT devices, avoiding the challenge of monitoring and maintaining many millions of battery-powered end points. Stanford has produced a prototype called HitchHike, which works with standard WiFi without any changes required. The researchers say their worst case is that they will be able to prolong the battery life of a WiFi device to 10 years – something which can currently be achieved using low power protocols like ZigBee, but not with WLANs. In the best…

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