Oppo wants to make devices that use mobile & Wi-Fi signals for power instead of batteries
By siliconindia | Friday, 21 January 2022, 07:30 Hrs
Almost every personal gadget today is run by a battery, be it a mobile phone, a laptop, a tablet, or earbuds. But Oppo, one of the biggest tech firm in the world, does not think batteries are the future, at least for IoT devices such as wireless earphones. It has now chalked out a vision where such devices will use mobile signals, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth for power supply instead of batteries, and this could change the way we use these products.
Oppo has published a research paper titled “Zero Power Consumption Communication” with a focus on a system that includes devices with zero power consumption. Although theoretical at this point, the zero power consumption communication system would not include any battery for power but rely on waves for charging. These devices will be ultra portable and require much less power to run, and with a battery-less mechanism, they will end up being longer-lasting and cheaper than existing technology.
Batteries have been a crucial ingredient for a personal electronic item that people tend to carry with them. Batteries permit devices to be portable, as opposed to a direct power supply system that you see on large appliances such as televisions and refrigerators. But batteries have several limitations in the way they work.
First, and most important, limitation would be that they are consumable, meaning they will become less effective and keep losing their capacity as they age. Second, they take up a significant space. If you have ever seen the internals of a smartphone, you would know the battery hogs the most space inside. And they are also heavy. A 6000mAh-battery phone will most possible weigh more than a phone with a 4000mAh battery, given they both use the same build material. Third, batteries are expensive and add up to the cost of your phone. Fourth, batteries are also prone to damage and blasts should there be a little change in the kind of atmosphere they need to work properly. You surely must have heard about phones exploding. And finally, batteries are not environment-friendly.
Oppo wants to change all of that. It has proposed a technology that will collect the radio frequency energy from wireless connections, such as mobile networks, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, which come from RF sources like TV towers, FM towers, mobile network base stations, and Wi-Fi hotspots. They will achieve communication by modulating and relaying incoming signals.
What Oppo has envisioned looks efficient and promising and, if implemented, could bring more convenience to how we use some gadgets. But it will mostly be limited to devices with low energy needs, so it is a bit hard to imagine that the zero power consumption communication technology will be able to power devices like smartphones.