Advances in RF Power for IoT Devices

Freevolt courtesy of Drayson TechnologiesAlthough early in development, soon radio frequency (RF) signals will soon be able to deliver electricity wirelessly to small internet-enabled devices outside the lab. Researchers at Drayson Technologies in the UK are working on their technology, called Freevolt, which harnesses the RF energy from wifi and broadcast networks and provides it to ultra-low-power devices like wearables and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. What makes Freevolt different from previous versions of the technology is the absence of a transmitter. Instead, the technology employs a rectifier and multiband antenna to harvest energy from multiple RF bands. The company plans to license the technology to a variety of markets. Full article at

WISP courtesy University of WashingtonThe Wireless Identification and Sensing Platform (WISP) is a mini sensor-based platform suitable for IoT applications. Engineers from the University of Washington and the Delft University of Technology have used their research in transmitting energy to low-power devices to create this new, open-source platform. Incorporating sensors with UHF RFID readers and a fully programmable 16-mit microcontroller allows WISP to be far more flexible and versatile than traditional RFID tags. Potential applications include reactions to changes in environment and cryptography, bolstered by the ability to perform these tasks without a battery. Full Article at

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Nanowires in Solar Technologies

There was recently an article in DesignNews about advances in nanowire technology for solar applications. Sol Voltaics is using gallium aresenide (GaAs) to create a film to add to solar panels to increase their efficiency. The Swedish company has been successful with the challenging process of aligning and orienting .00008 inch nanowires to create the film, called SolFilm. This breakthough promises to allow solar panels to achieve 28% and greater efficiency, a significant increase over current silicon-based technologies. Samples of this promising technology should be available within 18 to 24 months. For more information, visit Sol Voltaics website or read the original article on

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