This Bluetooth sticker is powered by air

  • TECH
  • Thursday, 17 Jan 2019

Wiliot's newest stamp-sized Bluetooth chip. — AFP Relaxnews

Semiconductor developing company Wiliot has unveiled a functional, paper-thin Bluetooth chip that harvests energy from the air instead of a battery.

On Jan 15 in New York City, Wiliot demonstrated the "first-ever sticker-sized Bluetooth sensor tag incorporating an ARM processor powered solely by scavenging energy from ambient radio frequencies"; to simplify, this Bluetooth-equipped stamp-sized device doesn't need a battery to supply power – only WiFi, Bluetooth, and other cellular signals.

Basically, because this Bluetooth "tag" is so lightweight, thin and cheap to manufacture and doesn't rely on a battery for energy, it has the potential to connect virtually any product to the IoT realm, even your shirt.

To demonstrate its versatility, Wiliot noted that clothing embedded with these tags could communicate with washing machines to ensure everything is properly washed, or that consumer products with the tag could provide owners with a digital user manual.

Furthermore, if tags are integrated into consumer goods during the production phase, items can be tracked during all stages of the supply chain. Likewise, Wiliot-connected containers, in theory, could "automatically reorder themselves when empty".

With Samsung, Amazon, and Qualcomm backing this project, Wiliot's future looks rather bright. The technology will be available for sampling via the Early Advantage Program this year with public availability slated for 2020.

– AFP Relaxnews
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