Oppo has just published a research titled ‘Zero-Power Communication’ that aims at a battery-free future. Research shows devices can charge using Bluetooth, WiFi, RF signals.
Simply put, devices drawing power from these sources won’t need a battery. Such devices will be relatively low-maintenance, and practically never need to be charged.
What Is Oppo Zero-Power Communication?
Oppo’s Zero-Power Communication idea applies majorly to IoT devices like smartwatches, medical sensors, and other low-power equipment.
The company wants to use RF harvesting, backscattering, and low-power computing to achieve this, and it isn’t a new concept either.
The study says, “Zero-Power devices can harvest ambient radio signals broadcast from sources such as TV towers, FM radio towers, cellular base stations, and WiFi access points (APs) as their source of power.”
For instance, one of the latest Samsung smart TVs has a remote that charges itself with 2.4Ghz WiFi. However, Oppo claims to have tested the technology and developed applications across heavy industries, transportation, and smart home setups.
Zero-Power Communications technology offers a means for electronics manufacturers to remove batteries from their products, reducing their costs and environmental impact in the process.Henry Tang, OPPO’s Chief 5G Scientist.
One of the most remarkable applications that the Oppo Zero-Power Communication paper highlights are location trackers. Trackers like AirTag already come with 1-year battery life before the cell eventually needs replacement.
However, the zero-power concept could open doors for trackers that don’t need charging. This could also translate to more rugged trackers as well.
The company also says it’ll propose this research project to 3GPP to standardize Zero-Power Communication.
The tech industry is growing more and more eco-conscious over time. We’ve had chargers scrapped from phone boxes in the last two years to create smaller packaging and reduce waste chargers. Companies are also reducing plastic usage in phone boxes.
With these next-generation self-charging devices, we can finally stop worrying about charging some of our gadgets. It could be amazing for smartwatches, smart cameras, fire alarms, trackers, and a whole other deal of equipment.