The devices in the future might not need wireless radios to communicate
Most devices today have at least one wireless radios in it. However, it requires some major setbacks to one’s daily lives. Those radios often chew up a lot of power, which is not practical for IoT devices. To make the IoT devices small there might not be a lot of space for the battery to run it.
Disney research (yes, the mickey mouse Disney) might have a solution to the problem. Ditch the radios entirely. Its scientists have developed technology to use ambient radio waves to communicate. The approach uses very low power sensors nodes to reflect radio waves from virtually any background source, whether it’s a distant tower or the phone in your pocket.
RFID tags already use a similar approach but the use of many more sources and multiple channels gives you a much longer range — in tests, the researchers achieved data links at distances up to 164 feet.
Naturally, it won’t be on every device you own. Moreover, you need other wireless signals for this to work. That also rules out using the hardware in remote areas where there are few if any ambient radio waves.
Disney’s invention might be very useful in smart homes and other electronics-heavy places, though. At the least, it could lead to slicker devices that don’t need big batteries.