The Internet of Things (IoT) is about to get an unlimited power source, thanks to Drayson Technologies. This week, the company announced the Freevolt, a tiny device capable of pulling radio frequency (RF) energy from the air.
Freevolt uses an antenna to snag RF energy from various broadcast networks, including 2G, 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi. Digital TV signals are also fair game for the little device, which then channels that energy to the batteries of low-power IoT devices, effectively constantly recharging them. It’s easy to see how a device like the Freevolt can play a big role in the explosion of IoT devices that seems on the near horizon.
The first product to use the Freevolt is the CleanSpace Tag. It makes for a good example of how useful the Freevolt can be. The CleanSpace Tag can be put anywhere and will monitor air quality from where it sits. Data is tracked via a phone app. Changing the batteries on a tiny device like this would be a headache, which is where the Freevolt comes in, pulling enough power from the ambient RF energy to trickle power into the battery forever.
As Drayson points out, there are tons of possible applications for the Freevolt, including sensor, beacons and loads of wearable tech. The company gives fitness bands as a prime example of a device that would be low-power enough to benefit from the steady trick of power that the Freevolt provides.
It will be interesting to see how IoT companies make use of these things. I could see Amazon replacing the AAA battery in its Amazon Dash buttons with a smaller battery and the Freevolt, assuming that it provides enough power to do so.