Research Highlights | Published:

Applied physics

Phone powers electronic label

Nature volume 511, page 267 (17 July 2014) | Download Citation

Image: Peter Modin, Linköping Univ./Acreo Swedish ICT

A small electronic device that is powered by wireless signals from mobile phones could one day be used to label and connect a wide range of products to the Internet.

A team led by Magnus Berggren at Linköping University and Göran Gustafsson at Acreo Swedish ICT, both in Norrköping, Sweden, developed a printed, flexible silicon diode with a small antenna that picks up the signal emitted by a nearby phone during a call. The diode then converts the signal to a current that powers a display (pictured).

Electronic labels that can communicate with web-connected devices could be important for a future 'Internet of things', in which ubiquitous objects such as sensors and appliances can be controlled through the Internet.

Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA (2014)

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