WiFi can carry power, not just data, prove researchers led by IIT grad

11th June 2015
WiFi can carry power, not just data, prove researchers led by IIT grad
Left, prototype devices used to establish power over WiFi, including a camera ( bottom) and a temperature sensor ( middle)

Washington  State University  students  lead by  IIT Guwahati grad,  tweak  WiFi routers to do double duty --  carrying data as well as power

Bangalore, June 11 2015: Sending and receiving data without wires  is no big deal. We do it all the time with  home and office WiFi routers.  Wouldn't it be great if the same router delivered  power as well?
A team at the  State University of Washington's  Sensor Systems  Laboratory, led by doctoral student  Vamsi Talla  has managed to do just that --   wirelessly charging    Lithium-ion batteries  which  are 10 metres away, as well as operating a  digital camera  with no other power source , than a WiFi hotspot.
Vamsi, (an alumnus of   Delhi Public , Panipat Refinery and IIT Guwahati) and his team,    tweaked  standard routers   from Asus   so that the small power around 1 watt that they  use  to carry data is 'captured' and harvested as DC power. They call it PoWiFi  -- Power over WiFi -- and  there is a lot of speculation that this might be  tipping point  for the Internet of Things:  a way to power up millions of tiny devices from  health trackers to  baby monitors that  people already use,  without needing to add a battery. 
Vamsi and his co researchers  who are guided by Asst Professors   Shyamnath Gollakota and Joshua R Smith  announced their  breakthrough   in a paper  at the   Open Access archive,  arXiv.org.  This has been widely hailed by the scientific community. MIT Technology Review  wrote: The ability to deliver power wirelessly to a wide range of autonomous devices and sensors is hugely significant. But the real icing on the cake here is the ability to do this with ordinary technology that is commonly available all over the developed world and beyond.
Once small step by a team  of students led by an Indian, may yet turn out to be a giant leap in the global quest to  power  a connected, intelligent world.