Battery capacity is currently the largest issue of wireless devices. While the industry is waiting for new ways of storing electrons, the general way to prolong the life of devices on a single charge is to lower the consumption. Nokia held an Open Innovation Challenge where the announced the winner for 2019. Canadian company HaiLa took €100000 to continue its research on a technology that drastically reduces the energy consumption of IoT devices. Access to Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs resources will be given to HaiLa to improve the business and grow it towards the industrial automation enabled by 5G.
HaiLa’s technology is based on enabling IoT device data to hitchhike on ambient waves, which drastically reduces IoT power consumption. This is how Nokia explained it: “This technology allows reuse of the ambient signals in the environment and simply backscatter the modulated data on top, eliminating the necessity for dedicated single tone transmitters, making the technology easier to integrate with the existing infrastructure and reduce IoT power consumption.”
This kind of research can help to make the devices more autonomous, and when combined with long-lasting batteries of the future, we’ll probably have something like a StarTrek combadge or tricorder that is being charged twice a month or longer, not on daily basis :).