Amazon’s voice activated home automation gadget can mistake radio and TV programme for human commands- as some owners found out recently while listening to a US talkshow.To activate Echo, users need to ask the ‘assistant’ Alexa to perform a task, from playing their favourite song to dimming the lights- provided they have the correct smart home appliances to do so of course.
You’re probably most familiar with piezoelectricity as the generator of the spark that lights the gas stove, but it’s finding a new application in Las Vegas this week: lighting up the living room.Energy-harvesting controls for home automation have been a thing since at least 2001, when Siemens set up a new company, EnOcean, to commercialize the piezo-powered wireless light switches it had developed. Pushing on the rocker switches generated just enough piezoelectrical energy to broadcast a 128-bit “telegram” to radio modules inside light fixtures, electrical outlets or control hubs.
Researchers in the Netherlands have developed a tiny wireless temperature sensor powered by radio waves. The technology, still in its infancy, could one day power smart homes.The sensor can detect temperature, but could be designed to sense a range of external variables. For example, sensors employed in smart homes could detect the presence of a person in the room and automatically switch on or off air condition and heat.
Dutch scientists have developed a tiny sensor powered by the radio waves it uses to communicate information.Such sensors could help advance the nascent Internet of Things industry, researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology said.Increasingly tiny chips that measure temperature, light, and air pollution are being deployed around cities and in smart homes and offices.One the biggest hurdles is to make these sensors battery-free.
Dutch researchers have invented an internet-of-things sensor that powers itself from router radio waves.The first sample chip measures just 2mm square, weighs 1.6 milligrams and measures temperature. It draws power from a Wi-Fi router via a tiny antenna, takes a reading, and then broadcasts it back, using a slightly different frequency to give the temperature figure.
What you see above may look like an unremarkable slice of electronics, but it can theoretically power a low-energy device forever, and for free. If that sounds like a big deal, well… that’s because it is. Drayson Technologies today announced Freevolt, a system that harvests energy from radio frequency (RF) signals bouncing around in the ether and turns it into usable, “perpetual power.” Drayson isn’t exactly a household name, but the research and development company has a particular interest in energy, especially where all-electric racing is concerned. And now it’s developed the first commercial technology that literally creates electricity out of thin air.
Antennas are a crucial component of any connected device such as a mobile phone or IoT product. But choosing the right antenna for an application presents a key design challenge. Wireless devices use several radio bands, and reliable radio links are important. Creating effective antenna performance in mobile phones and other IoT devices requires engineers to examine a number of factors including antenna size, from what is needed to what is possible, antenna shape, and placement.Mobile phones can contain anywhere from four to 13 different antennas. There are at least four radios (transmitters and/or receivers) in mobile phones made today: cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. Some phones will have three more radios: 802.15.4 (930 MHz and lower), FM radio, and magnetic Near-Field Communication (NFC).
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group recently made its new Bluetooth Developer Studio available to developers. The primary goal is to make it easier to incorporate Bluetooth wireless radio technology into devices connecting to the Internet of Things. The GATT-based app writing environment promises to cut Bluetooth education time by 50%.
The Internet of Things remains poised to take off but is closer than ever to the launchpad. In order to connect the things, wireless radio technologies are necessary. Bluetooth is one of the preferred standards thanks to its newest Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy profile, which dramatically cuts down the power required to make those connections. Bottom line, it is possible we can’t have connected toothbrushes, heart-rate monitors or door locks without Bluetooth. Enter the Bluetooth Developer Studio.