A tiny temperature sensor created by researchers from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands represents a massive breakthrough, as the sensor does not utilize a battery to power it up.
Instead, the miniscule temperature sensor, which measures only 2 square millimeters, draws power from radio waves that make up its network. In addition, the sensor communicates wirelessly through the same network, eliminating the need for a physical connection to another device to transmit the data it would be collecting.
The concept is still under development, and currently, the sensor needs to be within an inch of a wireless router to be able to gather enough power. However, the researchers are hoping that within a year, the device will be able to expand its range to 10 feet, and then eventually, up to 16 feet.
The technology presented by the tiny temperature sensor, under the project that the researchers have named PREMISS, could open up enormous possibilities for different kinds of technology in the future.
According to the press release made by the Eindhoven University of Technology, other kinds of sensors can be made using the same technology to measure light, movement and humidity.
Peter Baltus, a professor of wireless technology at the university, believes that there will be a wide application area for the no-battery sensor in the future, with applications including wireless identification, payment systems, industrial production systems and smart buildings. All these applications and industries will greatly benefit from utilizing technology that will not require batteries.
Baltus added that the technology can be used to create networks of sensors that do not need to be powered up by batteries, with the networks possible to be layered upon walls of a house or building through latex.
In addition, the utilization of such technology in the future could also lead to lower costs. The mass production of these devices will be able to drive down the costs of manufacturing a sensor to about 20 cents.