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Tiny Chip That Powers Itself From Radio Waves

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This tiny sensor gets its power from ambient radio waves.

A new, tiny sensor is powered by the radio waves it uses to communicate.

Credit: Bart van Overbeeke

Eindhoven University of Technology researchers have developed a tiny sensor powered by the radio waves it uses to communicate information, a development the researchers say could help advance the Internet of Things industry.

The sensor is designed to measure temperature, but Eindhoven professor Peter Baltus says similar sensors could be developed to measure light, movement, and humidity.

The sensor is two square millimeters in size and weighs 1.6 milligrams. The device has an antenna that captures energy from a wireless router, and stores the energy up to a certain threshold, at which point it can measure the temperature and send a signal to the router.

Although the current model has a range of just 2.5 centimeters, Baltus thinks it can be extended up to one meter, and possibly even five meters.

The sensor can operate beneath a layer of paint, plastic, or concrete, making it ideal for incorporation into buildings.

The cost of an individual chip will be about 20 cents, according to Baltus.

From BBC News
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