Researchers develop tech to beam power to camera using WiFi signals

By Silky Malhotra | Published on 08 Jun 2015
  • India Origin researcher develops new technology that can beam power to camera over Wi-Fi signals.

Researchers develop tech to beam power to camera using WiFi signals

An Indian-origin researcher has developed a system that uses Wi-Fi Internet signals to beam power to remote devices such as a surveillance camera.

The technology has been developed by doctoral student Vamsi Talla and his colleagues at University of Washington in Seattle. The system is known as power-over-Wi-Fii. The  tech uses the power from the Wi-Fi radio broadcasts that a simple antenna can pick up. The Wi-Fi receivers are designed to harvest the information that these broadcasts carry.

Talla and his team simply connected an antenna to a temperature sensor and placed it close to a Wi-Fi router. They measured the resulting voltages in the device and for how long it can operate on the remote power source alone. The team attached a camera to the antenna and created 174 x 144 pixel black and white images, which require just 10.4 millijoules of energy per picture. The team attached a low leakage capacitor to the camera which activates when the capacitor is charged and continues operating until the voltage drops to 2.4 Volts. "The battery-free camera can operate up to [about five meters] from the router, with an image capture every 35 minutes," Talla told MIT Technology Review.

Team was able to increase the distance to seven meters using a rechargeable battery.The router could even power the camera through a brick wall, demonstrating that it would be possible to attach the device outside while keeping the power supply inside. "The technology would be hugely useful for surveillance, perhaps connected to a movement sensor to trigger the camera when something moves in its field of view," Talla noted.

The team added that the tech had the potential to power small, low-power sensors and actuators that are commonly found in all homes and workplaces as part of the internet of things. "The ability to deliver power wirelessly to a wide range of autonomous devices and sensors is hugely significant," said a story about the research in MIT's Technology Review. " Powi-fi could be the enabling technology that finally brings the internet of things to life."

Also Read: Indian-origin scientist invents self-powered video camera

Source: MIT Tech Review

Silky Malhotra
Silky Malhotra

Email Email Silky Malhotra

Follow Us Facebook Logo Facebook Logo Facebook Logo

About Me: Silky Malhotra loves learning about new technology, gadgets, and more. When she isn’t writing, she is usually found reading, watching Netflix, gardening, travelling, or trying out new cuisines. Read More

Vamsi Talla power-over-Wi-Fii WiFi signals Camera Internet of things Protection Status