As much as newer versions of Bluetooth have reduced the amount of power it consumes, the fact of the matter is that it still needs a battery. However a company by the name of Wiliot has created a tiny postage stamp-sized Bluetooth chip that can power itself without the need for batteries simply be harvesting ambient radio frequencies.

In a way this technology shares a similar concept to how “true” wireless charging works, which also harnesses radio waves in the air to keep our devices powered. According to Wiliot, they believe that their chip has numerous possible uses, thanks to the fact that it requires no battery which means that it is cheaper to manufacture. Its size also means that it could be fitted into just about anything.

For example they say how this chip could be placed inside of products to double up as a digital manual that can be accessed in the event the product’s physical manual is lost. They also state how it can be put into clothing labels that can then communicate optimal wash settings to a smart washing machine, and so on.

These chips won’t be available anytime soon, at least not on a larger scale. The company is aiming to launch them later this year as part of a limited run, but it will only be in 2020 where it is expected to be more widely available. Hopefully by then we’ll see more ideas on how it can be used.

Filed in Gadgets. Read more about Science.

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