IoT future: The world’s tiniest temperature sensor is powered by radio waves

All things technology interest me and in my research and professional work the development of products, building efficient technology operation centers, and managing vast cyber related assets allows a great view on where we are and where we need to be in the future. As our further dependence on technology continues to all levels of life – no we are not speaking just social connection through Facebook and Snaps, but technology today that is being embedded in our brains, hearts, homes, cars, managing the electricity to our homes, balancing the nuclear reactions at plants, and precisely throttling the water purification systems of our water the importance is paramount to survival.

It is our opportunity to ensure that technology continues to benefit life and enjoyment, but it comes at a cost of active persistence in striving for high quality performance. Yes, performance does include security. A car can be fully maintained and the best money can buy, but if the lock doesn’t lock it’ll quickly be stolen.

I have been tracking a technology being developed where tiny sensors are powered by radio waves allowing them to operate without ever requiring a recharge. These are extremely small (grain of sand small) and can be used for a vast amount of (currently) single purposes. A recent thesis and accomplishment was made by the researchers at TU/e, and I have highlighted the possibilities below, plus a bit of the article.  Enjoy

  • Sensor’s current range is 2.5 centimeters, but will be 1 meter in a year
  • Sensor size is 2 square millimeters
  • Can be painted onto walls, added to concrete, or added to latex (insert fantastic spy usage here)
  • Is powered by radio waves in the room / provided by a “router” that directs radio waves and receives data from sensor

The sensor stores that energy and, once there is enough, the sensor switches on, measures the temperature and sends a signal to the router. This signal has a slightly distinctive frequency, depending on the temperature measured. The router can deduce the temperature from this distinctive frequency. The same technology enables other wireless sensors to be made, for example to measure movement, light and humidity. The application areas are enormous, Baltus says, ranging from payment systems and wireless identification to smart buildings and industrial production systems. They won’t be expensive either: mass production will keep the cost of a sensor down to around 20 cents.

The project, called PREMISS, has received funding from the STW technology foundation. The title of Hao Gao’s thesis is ‘Fully Integrated Ultra-Low Power mm-Wave Wireless Sensor Design Methods’

Source: The world’s tiniest temperature sensor is powered by radio waves

Think outside the box,



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