Engineers Design Battery-Free Wireless Device

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Re: Smart Meters
dimonic   11/18/2013 4:49:21 PM
Absolutely agreed. Sadly, I think we are far from having security in embedded devices. I just read that the closed, proprietory real time software used to manage RF radios in cell phones (and other things) is rife with security loopholes, and exists in every cell phone (and probably many medical devices).

William K.
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Power from the ambient energy field
William K.   11/19/2013 11:26:24 AM
Recovering power from the ambient electrostatic field is not new by any stretch. Way back in the sixties Popular Electronics Magazine published plans for a "free power" radio that used a fairly high "Q" tuned circuit to capture enough energy to power a 1 transistor amplifier for a crystal detector radio. Of course, now we have a much more intense field with far more frequencies then we had back then. So it is no surprise that devices to capture a bit of that energy are developed. The challenge is in the logistics, since the source impedance is very high, which limits the current available from any antenna that is a convenient size. But to see just how much signal is available, just grab the signal terminal on a scope probe, after setting the gain to one volt per division. Most areas will show several volts delivered into that 10 megohm connection. And even a direct connection will usually display over a volt. So the field is there and available, the challenge is in creating an economical way to access it. Of course there is the challenge that in the event of another power outage most of that field vanishes. But what does one expect for free?

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Re : battery-free wireless
AnandY   11/24/2013 12:19:32 PM
The simple fact that you can access cellular and other networks from practically every part of the world is a clear indication that we are surrounded all over by digital signals, even in spite of the fact that we cannot actually see the signals. The ability to harness these signals for alternative power is a great step forward. Hope they also considered how such harnessing will affect the normal use of those signals because I wouldn't want to have no cellular network for a battery-free iPad.

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