Posts Tagged ‘ Information ’

Harnessing Wireless Signals

It’s not a new thing that radio frequency signals can be used as both a power source and a communication medium, and moreover, the problem of wireless power has been in research since the time of Tesla. There have been perpetual researches on this topic since many years. As radio frequency signals are both the power source and the communication medium, therefore, we can re-purpose radio frequency signals that are already around us into both a source of power and a communication medium.

This technology can be useful in some of the way but it has some pitfalls too. Like it depends on radio frequency signal, so apparently it is useless at the places where there is no radio frequency signal, its effect on the other wireless system or on those from which it draws power or on anything other, will be useless in the Faraday cage like places. That is the one side, now how can it help the humans: well! It can be useful in number of ways; can be used in smart devices like phones, watches, sensors and any other wearable electronic device. This technology can be embedded into smartphones (or into other battery dependent devices) and when the battery dies, the phone could still be used for communication by using radio frequency signals. In a nutshell, this technology has ample of things to offer.

I recently read an article which says a team of researchers from the University of Washington is working on this kind of technology. They have created a wireless technology which they describe as Ambient Backscatter, which takes advantage of the TV and cellular transmissions that already surround us around the clock. It transforms existing wireless signals into both a source of power and a communication medium. The researchers built small, battery-free devices with antennas that can detect, harness and reflect a TV signal, which then is picked up by other similar devices. Using ambient backscatter, these devices can interact with users and communicate with each other without using batteries. They exchange information by reflecting or absorbing pre-existing radio signals.

There is always someone working on something somewhere around the earth, and as there are endless possibilities, so there can be endless creation which can be created by connecting the right pieces in the right place!


Google Search in the Physical World

In future, it could be possible to run a Google search in the physical world. For example, asking Google “where are my keys?” would give you the right answer if they have been fitted with tiny motes in your home, in your surroundings or in your place. A mote is a node in a wireless sensor network that is capable of performing some processing, gathering sensory information and communicating with other connected nodes in the network.

Thousands of tiny wireless sensors(motes) could one day be used to monitor your world. They will have tiny CPUs that run programs on a skeleton operating system and be able to access equally small banks of RAM and flash memory. These sensor-packed machines can be embedded in buildings and objects in large numbers, may be in hundreds or even thousands as per requirement according to the objects to provide constant updates on the world around us.

The motes will be smart enough to collect power from their surrounding. The motes will live off the power they can get from their surroundings. A mote near a light source might use a tiny solar panel, while a mote running somewhere with greater temperature extremes can be built to tap into that, by converting the heat energy that flows between hot and cold into electricity. These tiny wireless sensors(motes) could be used to monitor every tiny movement of large structures like bridges or skyscrapers in coming decades. The motes in a house could report back on lighting, temperature, carbon monoxide levels and occupancy. With motes embedded in all of your belongings it might be possible to run interent in the physical world to search your queries, and you would hear or get the right answers.

Reference article:

Bionic Eyes

In a pioneering research, scientists claim to be developing bionic eyes for the blind, which they say will be ready for human trials by 2013.

Here’s a brief explanation of bionic vision system or bionic eye:

What is bionic eye?

Bionic Contacts Lens

image credit: wikipedia
This lens is based upon Bionic Technology, but it’s not a Bionic Eye.

Bionic eye is an experimental visual device intended to restore the sense of vision to people living with blindness, low vision, or age-related macular degeneration.

Bionic eyes or bionic vision system consists of a camera mounted on pair of glasses, the purpose of this camera is to transmits visual information or high-frequency radio signals to a microchip( or electrode array) which is connected to neurons in the retina. Electrodes on the implanted chip convert these signals into electrical impulses and then these electrical impulses are transmitted through the optic nerve to the vision centers of the brain where they are interpreted as an image. The detail of a generated image by this technology depends on phosphene. A phosphene is a perceived spot of light in the visual field which can be induced with the help of electrodes. It means the more electrodes are implanted, the more phosphenes are capable of being generated and the more detail a patient may be able to see.

A person using this device or technology won’t experience vision in the same way that a person with a healthy eye does but with training and patience people will adapt to the implant. This technology is in its initial stage and with time and more research, it is possible that in future this technology can help patients living with blindness and low vision to recognize faces, read large print and much more. It is also possible with the more research and advancement in the field of bionic vision systems, there will be high-resolution and visual quality bionic eyes and will be commercially available which can even provide better vision than normal eyes. It might be possible that even healthy people will upgrade their sight with these kind of devices.