on March 7th, 2016

Students at the University of Washington are focusing on something important, something that affects every person who has ever owned a device that operates on Wi-Fi. Battery drain. Student hardware engineers have developed a new hardware that allegedly uses 10,000 times less power than current Wi-Fi. 

According to the students’ report they have invented ‘Passive Wi-Fi’. “Passive Wi-Fi transmissions can be decoded on any Wi-Fi device including routers, mobile phones and tablets,” says the paper. 

Unlike traditional Wi-Fi, the passive iteration will transmit a radio frequency which will be relayed to a Wi-Fi enabled device via sensors that utilize near to no power. The sensors recognize the radio signal and sends the less power consuming Wi-Fi to devices that have chipsets within them. They are able to achieve with ‘backscatter’ technologies. 

One of the authors of the paper, Shyam Gollakota told the Daily Mail: “‘The passive devices are only reflecting to generate the Wi-Fi packets, which is a really energy-efficient way to communicate.”

The discovery is inspiring confidence in companies designing devices for businesses and homes that will make use of and require the Internet of Things (IOT). Communicating with digital devices through the Internet of Things and interconnecting those devices is something that the students at the University of Washington are guarenteeing the ‘Passive Wi-Fi’ they’ve invented will do. 


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