Most of us will probably remember the times where you had to actually sit down with a computer that was plugged into a modem via Ethernet to access the internet. Then along came WiFi, the magical specimen that revolutionized the way we browse the internet, where we browse the internet and what sort of devices are capable of browsing the internet. This was all fine and dandy for the last few years and we saw moderate advancements in the field through more devices becoming WiFi friendly. I am sure most of you probably haven't even thought of what we could possibly do to improve the concept of WiFi, but fret not, as that question has been answered before we could even ask. Meet PoWiFi, a new type of technology capable of transmitting actual power from a WiFi router to another device through WiFi.
The technology accomplishes exactly what the name suggests, it provides power over WiFi. Now before you take that too seriously, this device isn't something that will power your entire house or your amazing "Peasant Crusher 9000" gaming PC, it will provide enough power to keep only smaller, less intensive devices running. A few examples of things you could power with this technology are thermostats, low-res cameras, fitness bands etc. It has been stated that the device can generate anywhere from 1.8V to 2.4V of electricity to power a device, so hopefully that can put things into perspective.
The University of Washington based engineers who are behind all of this have tested their technology and they even published their findings online earlier this year. PoWiFi was able to power an extremely low-res camera and temperature sensor from about 20 feet away. It was also able to recharge batteries that were about 28 feet away and get a Jawbone activity tracking bracelet from 0% to 41% in 2.5 hours.
Now you may all be wondering, well how does this work? Well if that was your question, it seems as if you are out of luck at the moment since the entire research paper detailing all of their procedures and experiments is due to be released sometime next month. This doesn't mean that we don't know anything, as little bits of information have actually been given. For one, the group manufactured sensors to harvest the power from the WiFi signals. They also said that this tech shouldn't deteriorate the signal quality for anyone who is just using the WiFi to browse the web. Much like how our WiFi speeds slow down once we get further away from our router, sending electricity over WiFi also has it's range limits, so that is something that will hopefully be improved upon over the coming years.
There future for WiFi communications is looking very strong indeed. One can only imagine how far this new technology can be pushed, in terms of power output. What do you think? Would you invest in something like this if you had the chance to? Leave your thoughts below!