Radios the Size of Ants: Now Anything Can Be Wi-Fi Ready

Radios have gone nearly super-small thanks to the collaboration between Stanford and UC Berkley. Capable of both transmitting and receiving data, these devices are cost effective, battery-free, and could eventually seriously fuel Internet connected devices in the future. Besides making radios the size of ants possible, what makes them so unique?

To get a better idea of how power efficient these devices are, imagine only needing a AAA battery to run it. While such an external power source isn’t necessary, the battery would be able to run the device for over 100 years. How many of your devices get that kind of battery life?

Demand has been on the rise for a way to connect virtually any device or product to the Internet in a cheap and efficient manner. These miniscule radios could prove to be just the link that manufacturers are looking for, in order to get products of all sorts connected.

The major advantage is that no external power source is needed and nothing needs to be connected to the antenna. This means being able to connect virtually any type of product, no matter where the nearest outlet is. The main drawback as this time is that communication is currently limited to less than 20 inches. Of course, researchers will no doubt be working on expanding their range. In the meantime, low costs make the new technology very appealing.

Basically the researchers were able to take all of the most vital components needed to make a radio work and fit them on the smallest of microchips. These devices cost mere pennies to make, which allows them to be immediately mass produced. 100 prototypes of radios the size of ants already exist. With demand so high for technology like this, it may not be long before they become available commercially.