Imagine being able to power up your small electronics anytime, anywhere, and at no cost. Now you can with Freevolt, a technology developed by UK-based Drayson Technologies that converts energy from radio frequency signals into a never-ending stream of useable electricity. Leaning on RF energy harvesting to power the devices in our life would make use of something that is otherwise wasted, while bringing a lot of convenience and peace of mind to our lives.
RF signals are pretty much everywhere that people are these days, since they make it possible for us to have cell phone service, Wi-Fi, and digital broadcast television programming. And sure, a device that can create electricity from thin air seems like a really convenient way to keep your smartphone charged up, so you never miss a round of Words with Friends. But there are a host of other practical applications that might not immediately occur to you. Think about other gadgets in your life that are currently battery powered, but would be better if they weren’t. The Freevolt could put an end to dead smoke detector batteries waking you up in the middle of the night. It could also power security cameras and other devices that are tied into building electricity systems.
To date, the technology has only been put to use in one commercial device called the CleanSpace™ Tag, which acts as a personal air quality pollution sensor. Pulling energy from RF signals allows the sensor to work consistently and seamlessly without the need for changing batteries or plugging in to charge. The tag, which is now for sale, is used to crowdsource data on air quality as part of an app-friendly database.
Right now, Freevolt is taking pre-orders for developer kits, but not selling any actual RF harvesting devices. By putting out a call for interested parties to step up to aid product development, Drayson hopes to create a host of practical applications for what they are calling “Perpetual Power” – that is, the endless supply of no-cost electricity to be had, harnessed from thin air.
Images via Drayson Technologies