In the near future, IoT devices will be able to harvest energy directly from Bluetooth, WIFI, and cell phone signals, resulting in features such as smaller size, better durability, lower cost, and high sustainability value. OPPO’s “Zero-Power Communication” white paper highlights exciting futuristic scenes where the number of batteries in use the world over will be significantly reduced. An example given is of electronic tags, applied to locate items, not requiring battery replacement or recharging. Another scenario is of every endangered migratory bird being equipped with long-distance tracking devices.
The OPPO Research Institute in its white paper examines the technical positioning of Zero-Power Communication technology in the context of current unmet demand in the IoT space. The paper outlines a future roadmap for the technology to develop in conjunction with other communications systems of the future.
The majority of portable electronic devices today rely on batteries as their power source. While battery technology has advanced over the years, it still presents significant problems in terms of overall size, production cost, lifespan, ease of use, and environmental friendliness of the batteries themselves. Zero-Power Communication technology avoids the need for batteries by harvesting ambient radiofrequency energy from the surrounding environment to generate power, resulting in highly compact, efficient, and low-cost devices. Such properties have benefits in commercial applications such as warehousing, logistics, agriculture, wearable devices, smart homes, and other cutting-edge consumer applications.
With an increasing emphasis in all industries to develop and implement sustainable products and practices for the betterment of the planet as a whole, OPPO believes that technology should also evolve to deliver greater convenience and sustainable value. In countries, like Pakistan, which face serious power shortages, Zero-Power devices can be particularly advantageous. These devices harvest ambient radio signals broadcast from sources such as TV towers, FM radio towers, cellular base stations, and WIFI access points (APs) as their source of power. After harvesting energy from existing radio waves, the device can modulate ambient radio signals with its information and transmit these signals outwards in a process known as backscattering communication.
Zero-Power Communication systems can be constructed in a framework that uses cellular communications, sidelink communications, or both, in hybrid form. These systems support devices used for various applications, in a variety of environments, over a range of distances. OPPO has already successfully built its own Zero-Power Communication system and demonstrated the feasibility of the concept as a viable approach to future communications networks. OPPO is also taking the lead in promoting the Zero-Power Communication standard by proposing research projects to 3GPP, and sharing findings at industry conferences such as FuTURE and ICCC.
OPPO also published its 6G AI-Cube Intelligent Networking White Paper regarding cutting-edge communication technologies. In line with its brand mission of “Technology for mankind, kindness for the world,” OPPO is targeting to release commercial Zero-Power Communication technology within the next 3 to 5 years as it continues to build smarter, more convenient, and greener communications systems.