Scientists Turn Wi-Fi Signals Into Electricity In ‘Huge Breakthrough’
A group of scientists have invented a machine that converts Wi-Fi signals into electricity, powering devices without a battery.
With the creation of AirPods, wireless charging and voice command, our desire to be ever-connected is becoming increasingly physically unconnected.
With that in mind, it was only a matter of time before another new technology was introduced, this time offering a way for devices to run without the need for a physical battery.
According to MailOnline, the machine created by a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a small two-dimensional device, powered solely by Wi-Fi waves passing through it.
A new rectenna, a type of antenna, captures the waves and converts them into wireless energy using a cutting-edge semiconductor. As a result, Wi-Fi could become a widespread power source.
Professor Tomás Palacios, who co-authored the study, explained:
We have come up with a new way to power the electronics systems of the future – by harvesting Wi-Fi energy in a way that’s easily integrated in large areas – to bring intelligence to every object around us.
The team claim the new invention could power everything from large-area electronics, wearable electronic accessories and even medical devices, which could beam data to doctors.
The conversion of Wi-Fi energy to useful direct current requires a piece of equipment known as a rectifier. Traditionally they are thick and inflexible, but for this creation the researchers used a thin and malleable material known as molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), which is one of the thinnest semiconductors in the world.
Xu Zhang, the first author of the study, added:
Such a design has allowed a fully flexible device that is fast enough to cover most of the radio-frequency bands used by our daily electronics, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular LTE, and many others.
We could be saying goodbye to batteries with this invention!
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