Zero-Energy Devices. Does it mean not necessary to charge? Charge for free?

It seems that it would be charged by waves from the close environment, without cable…from Network operator? Routers? Antennas? Satelites? Repeaters? But for free? Will we be fried like a fried chicken? Or at least our skin tone will be like the one after a whole summer in a Caribean beach? Just headaches? The idea seems clear…Will we see it?

Zero-Energy Devices and Air Interface IoT, especially cellular IoT was promised a huge market by the time 5G rolled out commercially.

At MWC 2021, Orange demonstrated ‘Crowd-Detectable Zero-Energy-Devices’, where a connected device was:

Firstly, it is self-powered using ambient energy such as light energy from artificial lighting or the sun.

Secondly, to communicate, it recycles existing signals, or those already used for communications between smartphones and the network. These signals are transported in the form of waves.

Finally, it can be detected by the ambient network. Indeed, when the device is near a smartphone connected to the mobile network, the smartphone detects it in the same way as it detects the network and can serve as its “communication gateway”. Likewise, the network also detects the device, just as it detects the smartphone, and can therefore also act as its “communication gateway”.

Ultimately, this new type of device can connect without an energy source, using zero additional waves or infrastructure. For simplicity, we’ll call it “000Device”.

Ericsson and MIT announced that they will collaborate on variety of topic, one of which was «Advances in hardware could lead to “zero-energy” devices able to harvest energy directly from the received radio signal and use it to connect to the mobile network«. In a recent blog post they detail how «Ericsson and MIT have teamed up to find out how zero-energy devices could harness energy from their surroundings – and transform industries in the process«.

Zero-Energy Air Interface that may play a role in 6G and even 5G-Advanced

On demand features will have to be introduced to the 3GPP/NR system framework using a new class of “zero energy” (ZE) air interfaces that concurrently deliver power and information to devices. Ultra low power receivers that consume few 10s of nanowatt power and are capable of macro like link budgets will need to be developed. Using these new PHY & MAC concepts a scalable system framework will have to be developed and integrated into future cellular networks!!

Once the 3GPP Release-18 feature list is available, we may be able to see if this made it into the standards or we will have to wait longer.

Casimir Cavity effect is also involved in the Zero-Point Energy unlock.

I hope with this information you will have some keywords to research deeper into the topic.

Enjoy!

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