Mobile devices will be able to leverage battery power in larger nearby devices for communication using new radio technology developed at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst).
A paper on the new technology was presented last week at the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication (SIGCOMM 2016) conference in Brazil.
"We take for granted the ability to offload storage and computation from our relatively limited personal computers to the resource-rich cloud," says UMass Amherst professor Deepak Ganesan. "In the same vein, it makes sense that devices should also be able to offload how much power they consume for communication to devices that have more energy."
The team enabled Bluetooth to operate asymmetrically like radio-frequency identification (RFID). Dubbed Braidio for "braid of radios," the technology operates like a standard Bluetooth radio when a device has sufficient energy, but runs like RFID when energy is low, offloading energy use to a device with a larger battery when needed.
The team developed a prototype radio that could help extend the life of batteries in small, mass-market mobile devices such as fitness trackers and smartwatches. Ganesan says battery life could be extended hundreds of times in some cases, and "energy offload" techniques could lead to smaller and lighter devices in the future.
From University of Massachusetts Amherst
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