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The Emergence of RF-Powered Computing
Jan. 2014 (vol. 47 no. 1)
pp. 32-39
Shyamnath Gollakota, University of Washington
Matthew S. Reynolds, University of Washington
Joshua R. Smith, University of Washington
David J. Wetherall, University of Washington
Extracting power "from thin air" has a quality of science fiction about it, yet technology trends make it likely that in the near future, small computers in urban areas will use ambient RF signals for both power and communication. The first Web extra at http://youtu.be/8PDfprKzpbg is a video that demonstrates how ambient backscatter transforms existing wireless signals into both a source of power and a communication medium. It enables two battery-free devices to communicate by backscattering existing wireless signals. Backscatter communication is orders of magnitude more power-efficient than traditional radio communication. Further, since it leverages the ambient RF signals that are already around us, it does not require a dedicated power infrastructure as in RFID. The second Web extra at http://wisp.wikispaces.com is a community website called WISP Wiki with access to software and hardware prototype designs for people who want to experiment with WISPs (Wireless Identification and Sensing Platforms), sensing and computing devices that are powered and read by off-the-shelf UHF RFID readers.
Index Terms:
Backscatter,RF signals,Radio frequency,Computers,Telemetry,TV,Power distribution,Wireless communication,Ubiquitous computing,emerging technologies,wireless communication,ubiquitous computing
Citation:
Shyamnath Gollakota, Matthew S. Reynolds, Joshua R. Smith, David J. Wetherall, "The Emergence of RF-Powered Computing," Computer, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 32-39, Jan. 2014, doi:10.1109/MC.2013.404
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