[Blabber] Passive Wifi offering a 10, 000x reduction in power consumption for remote Wifi nodes

John Larson larsonj.home at gmail.com
Fri Apr 1 17:03:48 UTC 2016


Totally agree, it isn't clear to me how this actually works either.  I
assume they worked out a solution for breaking the IP stack in their
prototype.  Its a good question.  There would probably have to be some kind
of packet sniffer along the route that would look for and record the
broadcasts.  The thing here that sounds promising to me is the ability to
simplify integration between the OT and IP network while reducing power
requirements and cost for the remote nodes.

Here's the thing.  One of the hurdles that IoT integrators face is how to
route data from non-IP, OT networks into the cloud safely and cheaply.  It
can be done.  It can't be done in a simple, cost effective and standardized
way... yet.  Weather or not this solution makes it out of the lab is less
important to me than solutions like this are getting publicity.  My take
away is that simpler to integrate, cost effective options are on the

What is it they say?  You can have it cheap, low power or IP enabled - pick

On Fri, Apr 1, 2016 at 12:11 PM, Guan Yang <guan at yang.dk> wrote:

> This confuses me a little bit. I thought I understood the pros and cons
> when this was publicized - you waste a lot of power transmitting all over
> the place in case someone wants to transmit. But the benefit was that this
> would integrate with existing wi-fi networks. If you don't need Wi-Fi
> compatibility, you might be able to energy harvest enough energy for a
> lower power network, or find some other solution.
> But I don't quite understand the concept of a device that only transmits,
> and does not receive, wi-fi signals. This works for a wireless protocol
> that supports that, but for Wi-Fi, it seems such a node would not be able
> to integrate very well with an existing Wi-Fi network. How would it receive
> acknowledgments and retransmit, for example?
> On Apr 1, 2016, at 12:06, John Larson <larsonj.home at gmail.com> wrote:
> An interesting development on the low power wifi front from our friends at
> the  Univ of Washington, CS Dept <http://passivewifi.cs.washington.edu/>.
> They are promising a 10,000x reduction in power consumption for passive
> wifi nodes that transmit (but do not receive) wifi signals.
> This is perfect for cloud enabled embedded wireless sensor applications.
> Of course wifi range limitations still apply but it is an important
> breakthrough for simplifying integration (and hopefully cost) of embedded
> wireless applications with the cloud.
> Wired published an article
> <http://www.wired.com/2016/03/future-wi-fi-10000-times-energy-efficient/>
> about it in march.
> Emerging Tech like this is going to make integration with OT networks a
> lot more palatable for some significant IoT use cases.  Its not available
> yet but it looks like something to keep an eye on.
> -John
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