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“Braidio” technology lets mobile devices share power

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Researchers at College of Information and Computer Sciences have developed “Energy offload” technique to increase battery life of mobile devices. This technology is named Bradio and they claim, It can increase battery life upto 100 times in some cases.

The size of battery in a device is directly proportional to actual size of the device. Battery in smartwatches are smallest whereas the battery size of a laptop is 10 times larger than smartphone and 100 times than that of a smartwatch. But these smaller devices can’t offload their power consumption to bigger devices. To overcome this limitation, Ganesan at College of Information and Computer Sciences has developed Bradio technology.

Lets try to understand this technology:

BraidioThe storage capacity of personal computers, smartphones are limited (16 GB to 1 TB). But they can offload their data to cloud storage services. The basic principle is, A smaller device offloading its load on the bigger device. If this can be done with data than why not power? So Basically Bradio is a radio which can transfer data between two devices, but at the same time, energy required for the communication is offloaded to bigger device. This way battery lasts longer for the smaller and limited devices.

To achieve power offloading, Bradio is made similar to bluetooth but with the capability to operate like a RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). An RFID operates a lot differently than bluetooth. In RFID, the reader pays most of the energy for communication. It is very efficient in energy management. When there is enough battery life available Bradio operates same like bluetooth but as soon as battery is low, It starts to operate like a RFID. This way energy is drained from other device.

Results shows that when a small device sends data to big device with big battery, Bradio offered 400 times longer battery life.

There is one major limitation:

Bradio can only save energy when it is used for data transmission. It can’t save battery when big energy loads like camera (Hundred’s of mW) is transmitting data via Bradio. Camera has always been a big battery drain for most of the phones.

Bradio is designed to operate on different frequencies. So, it can be used in many different modes while it won’t consume energy more than a bluetooth radio. And with more research and development, It will get smaller and efficient.

Wearable devices are very big due to battery size, but Bradio can change this trend and help reduce wearable device size in near future.

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