The second “r” – reuse – is coming into play big time with new devices from Drayson Technologies. The company reuses radio frequency (RF) transmissions from mobile and wireless networks that are already broadcast around us to power their latest device. This means that low-energy IoT devices could be powered without creating new energy, removing the need for batteries and charging. The first use for this technology, which they’re calling Freevolt, is an air sensor that will crowdsource air pollution tracking.
Currently, IoT devices require batteries and/or charging. While this battery technology has advanced recently, it still is limited by size, time, and requires advanced planning. Rather than using batteries, these new devices leverage the already existing energy that comes from wi-fi, mobile (2G, 3G, 4G, etc.) networks, and digital TV signals and turn in into energy to power themselves.
Harvesting this energy comes with its challenges, including how to employ this energy without disturbing current connectivity, and how to create a device that can tap into the small amount of RF energy available. Right now, this technology is applicable only to low power IoT devices.
Here at WattDoesItUse, we’re excited to see technology using more sustainable energy sources. We’ll keep you posted on where this technology heads in the future. Have you tried the new Freevolt devices? Let us know in the comments below.