Internet of Things (IoT) is a vision, where everyday objects have network connectivity. It is also defined as the infrastructure of the information society in Global Standards Initiative on Internet of Things (IoT-GSI). A team of scientists from the Stanford University have developed a new small Wi-Fi device. The device that they have developed is also known as HitchHike. This tiny Wi-Fi device: HitchHike is the ultra-low-energy wireless radio to facilitate what is known to be the Internet of Things (IoTs). The device is tasked to pass commands to and from devices related to IoT.
Scientists named it as HitchHike for its clever design. Its design hitches on incoming radio waves from a smartphone or a laptop. Then, those incoming signals are translated into its own message and retransmit its own data on a different WiFi channel.
According to scientists, HitchHike is the first self-sufficient WiFi device. It enables data transmission using just microwatts of energy, which is almost zero. Although, it can be used with existing WiFi without modification or additional equipment.
Zhang said, “You can use it right now with a cell phone and your off-the-shelf WiFi router.”
The Hitchhike prototype is a processor and radio in one. It comes in a size of a postage stamp. It is able to transmit up to 300 kilobits per second under the range of 50 metres.
The most amazing feature of this tiny Wi-Fi device is, it can operate on a simple coin battery. As compare to other Wi-Fi devices, it consumes 10,000 times less current. Researchers hope that the future versions will use small solar panels or even harvest the energy of incoming WiFi radio waves.
HitchHike is also a translation device due to its processor capabilities. It cleverly translates the incoming code words into its own data. For example, if the incoming code word indicates a zero and HitchHike wants it to remain a zero, it passes that code word unaltered.
To work perfectly as radio, researchers have developed code word translation. It makes all necessary leaps from reflecting the message to generating the message of its own.
To avoid radio interference, it shifts its new signal to another WiFi channel.
Zhang said, “HitchHike opens the doors for widespread deployment of low-power WiFi communication using widely available WiFi infrastructure. For the first time, truly empower the Internet of Things.”
“We hope to make this tiny Wi-Fi device smaller. Perhaps even smaller than a grain of rice for use in implanted bio-devices like a wireless heart rate sensor,” he added.