Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Interscatter Communication

PostedMarch 5, 2017

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LEDE: Your contact lenses might one day be engineered with technologies that do more than correct vision.

Randy Atkins:  Devices attached to or implanted in our bodies would be great for monitoring vital signs, but generally can’t hold enough power to pass along information via Wi-Fi. Now Vamsi Talla, a University of Washington engineer, is developing a way for, say, contact lenses to send signals without the need for batteries.

Vamsi Talla: One of the goals that our research lab looks at is how we can embed connectivity in all objects around you.

Randy Atkins: The new method, called “interscatter communication,” allows a contact lens – or other objects – to reflect Bluetooth signals from a nearby device like a smartwatch…and transform them into Wi-Fi signals that can be read by your smartphone or laptop.

Vamsi Talla:  With interscatter, we showed for the first time that we can actually get communication at 10-thousand times lower power.

Randy Atkins:  Talla says it could save energy in our mobile devices and homes.  With The National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.

Interscatter Team: