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Oppo's Zero-Power Tag Prototype

Last year, Oppo released a white paper on zero-power communication technology, and now the company is showcasing its first battery-free tracker based on this technology at the MWC 2023 expo. The Zero-Power Tag prototype device is powered by harvesting radio waves from the surrounding area, allowing it to function without an autonomous power source like a battery.

Using key technologies such as RF signal harvesting, backscattering, and low-power computing, the Zero-Power Tag has the potential to revolutionize the IoT industry by offering a sustainable alternative to battery-powered devices. The plastic rectangle prototype exhibited at the expo is just the beginning; Oppo envisions a future where the Zero-Power Tag comes in the form of a sticker that can be applied anywhere.

Zero-Power devices can 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 the energy from existing radio waves, the device can modulate ambient radio signals with its own information and transmit these signals outwards in a process known as backscattering communication. When designing Zero-Power Communication networks, it is necessary to consider the coexistence of Zero-Power communication systems and existing 4G/5G systems apart from unlicensed and licensed bands...

In the near future, IoT devices will be able to harvest energy directly from Bluetooth, WiFi, and cellphone signals, resulting in excellent features such as smaller size, better durability, and lower cost. Electronic tags are applied to locate the items without replacing or recharging the tag battery.

One exciting use case scenario is tagging endangered birds to track their migratory habits without harming them. But the possibilities for this technology are endless, and the potential for a sustainable IoT future is vast. With millions of batteries currently being disposed of in landfills, the Zero-Power Tag could pave the way for a cleaner, greener world. Oppo's innovative technology has the power to change the way we think about IoT devices and their impact on the environment.

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