Stanford Engineers have created a radio the size of an ant. The tiny transmitter can send out signals that may not reach far, but have bigger implications than we know. In addition to being extremely small, it’s believed they can be mass-produced for very little cost, and embedded nearly anywhere.
Built on a piece of silicon a few millimeters thick, several dozen can sit on the side of a penny. Speaking of pennies, each would cost a few to produce, making them both small and cheap.
The radios are so small due to a missing battery. the power for these devices would need to come from a host source, but such a small device has next to no power requirements, and can leach power form a nearby radio field — like RFID does.
Operating on the 24GHz and 60GHz bands won’t let you send out a signal across the home, but it could unlock a door when you reach for it wearing a smartwatch, or make coffee when you set your phone down on top of the machine. The Engineers who designed it envision a day when thousands of these spread through the home, creating a true “Internet of Things”.
Such a small device that needs no power could serve as the perfect conduit for your connected home. Tiny transmitters everywhere, which relay info as needed to supporting tech — now that’s a platform we can get behind.