Ambient Backscatter

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Ambient Backscatter transforms existing wireless signals into both a source of power and a communication medium. It enables two battery-free devices to communicate by backscattering existing wireless signals. Backscatter communication is orders of magnitude more power-efficient than traditional radio communication. Further, since it leverages the ambient RF signals that are already around us, it does not require a dedicated power infrastructure as in RFID.

http://www.washington.edu/news/2013/08/13/wireless-devices-go-battery-free-with-new-communication-technique/
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