Wireless Communication out of Thin Air with Ambient Backscatter

From the University of Washington,

As computing devices become smaller and more numerous, powering them becomes more difficult; wires are often not feasible, and batteries add weight, bulk, cost, and require recharging/replacement that is impractical at large scales. Ambient backscatter communication solves this problem by leveraging existing TV and cellular transmissions, rather than generating their own radio waves. This novel technique enables ubiquitous communication where devices can communicate among themselves at unprecedented scales and in locations that were previously inaccessible.

Tune In, Charge Up: RF Energy Harvesting Shows its Potential

This article reviews the state-of-the-art of RF energy harvesting, current and emerging applications, and considers some of the recent product introductions in this sector. These include energy harvesting development kits that support RF energy harvesting, such as theM24LR EEPROM with RF interface, and associated Discovery evaluation kit fromSTMicroelectronics; XLP 8-bit and 16-bit microcontroller-based energy harvesting development kits from Microchip; and a range of RFID devices and development kits fromTexas Instruments, based on the MSP430 range of ultra low power microcontrollers.

Read more HERE

Circuits: How to Charge a Super Capacitor with a Solar Panel

Here’s a schematic brought to you by the folks at Electronics Lab.

Super Capacitors have become more popular over the past 5 years and are beginning to replace batteries in some applications. Charging a super cap can be tricky especially if you want to avoid damaging it. Here is a basic circuit that will allow you to charge a super capacitor with a solar panel.