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Recycled Energy: Ambient Backscatter Allows Wireless Communications with no Batteries

Using ambient backscatter, these devices can interact with users and communicate with each other without using batteries. They exchange information by reflecting or absorbing pre-existing radio signals.

A team at the University of Washington has just come up with something that could become the next big thing for the Internet of Things. They're using existing TV and cellular transmissions—ambient RF energy that's in the air around already—both as a communication medium, and as a source of power. Read more »

Mint-Tin Software Defined Radio

Screen shot 2013-01-23 at 11.13.06 AM

Steve, AKA Flickr user 3dking, built this mint-tin, PCB-less(!) SDR upverter, which switches your software-controlled Ham radio from VHF to HF. I built another up-converter, this time in to an Altoids tin and stuck a low quality label on the tin lid. This version includes the switching relay to connect... Read more »