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Reflecting Wi-fi to Save Battery Life

The modern world is a connected one. Smartphone and tablet sales are on the rise while more people own computers and the latest technological devices than ever before. Wi-Fi hotspots are springing up all over the globe and people are becoming connected wherever they go thanks to the incredible advancements in technology over the last decade. Nearly every big device out there, whether it to be a smartphone, a notebook or a piece of wearable tech, utilizes the power of Wi-Fi to stay connected at all times. Well, a new development at NASA might be able to offer an incredible upgrade to this global technology by making it work towards saving battery power on various devices.

The innovative idea has actually been developed by a collaboration between a chief research at NASA’s famous Jet Propulsion Lab named Adrian Tang and Professor M.C. Frank Change of the University of California, Los Angeles. Together, these two intelligent minds have managed to create a new Wi-Fi chip that is compatible with mobile devices and could save enormous amounts of battery power. It actually makes use of a hundredth of the power of a traditional chip, which is an incredible saving and could present a vast upgrade over current technologies.

A common complaint about mobile devices is in regard to their battery life. Indeed, many of the top smartphone and tablet manufacturers out there are constantly searching for new ways to improve the stamina of their devices’ batteries and would certainly be interested in adopting this new technology. NASA’s Tang is hoping to modify the technology even further so that it could be suitable for wearable technologies as new products like smartwatches are seeing a rise in popularity in recent times.

The science behind the chip is quite simple. When someone accesses the internet in some way on a mobile device, that device emits a signal to a router in the vicinity which then returns a signal back to the device. Constantly generating these signals uses an inordinate amount of power, and so Tang and Chang worked together to create a system that actually reflects signals rather than having to generate them. A signal is constantly sent from a specialized router to the mobile device, where the necessary data is actually imprinted on the signal, rather than being generated. This results in massive power savings on the side of the mobile device.

What makes this innovation even better is that it doesn’t compromise the device’s performance. Speeds recorded with this chip are just as good, if not better than traditional technologies. Through a combined effort, this new technology has been created and could represent a real step forward for mobile communications. The idea of saving battery is also good for the environment as people won’t need to charge their phones as often as before. NASA and UCLA are working towards offering this new chip on a commercial level and hopefully it won’t be long before we see it in use around the world.

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