Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Energy From the Airwaves

PostedAugust 14, 2011

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Randy Atkins: We’re bathed in communications signals from radio, TV, and cell phones. Josh Smith, an Intel engineer, says we can tap those airwaves for energy.

Joshua Smith: The lowest powered devices nowadays consume such a small amount of energy that you can actually power them off these signals that used to seem like they only had information.

Randy Atkins: Engineers are tuning antennas to pull in stray radio waves that then are converted into electricity.

Joshua Smith: It’s starting to become possible to get rid of batteries from the lowest-end devices.

Randy Atkins: Smith has already demonstrated it works to power a kitchen thermometer and has other applications, like clocks and mobile phones, in mind. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.