For many, Wi-Fi is main the source of wireless internet, and we all love it, especially when it's free. However, there's a huge problem with the technology that many folks are not talking about, and that's the fact that Wi-Fi is a power hungry monster.
It has been like this for years, and nothing much has been done to get a hold on the issue. With mobile devices becoming the main source to the web, folks need to preserve battery life when browsing, but Wi-Fi power hungriness is something that stands like a great wall, designed to keep mobile users tied to their chargers.
The End Of Wi-Fi's Power Hungriness Is Nigh
Engineers from the University of Washington have created a Wi-Fi transmission that manage to use 10,000 times less power than what is used today. That's a big deal, and if implemented in future devices, it could change the way we use our smartphones and tablets.
It also means that with this technology, we can download anything at anytime without losing much of the battery capacity. The problem right now is that the team could only achieve this by browsing at speeds of 11 megabits per second. That's not good enough for public use, but it's a start as they are still working on improving the entire product.
We should point out that the technology here is called passive Wi-Fi, and is able to be integrated seamlessly with devices such as Wi-Fi routers and smartphones.
"We wanted to see if we could achieve Wi-Fi transmissions using almost no power at all," says one of the team, Shyam Gollakota. "That's basically what Passive Wi-Fi delivers. We can get Wi-Fi for 10,000 times less power than the best thing that's out there."
So far, the technology has not yet been verified by others outside of the team, however, it's among the top 10 breakthrough technologies of 2016. This means the tech shows a lot of promise, but it will take some time before it comes to market in a huge way.
Current Wi-Fi devices use hundreds if milliwatts of power, which is a battery drainer; however, that's something we should have known already. However, the new passive Wi-Fi technology uses only 15-60 microwatts of power, so right away we can see how well this could work for mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and even laptop computers.
Overall, passive Wi-Fi is likely the future, but we have to wonder, how much will a Wi-Fi router with the technology inside cost?