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Long in the Bluetooth: Scientists develop a more efficient way to transmit data between our devices

Date:
November 21, 2023
Source:
University of Sussex
Summary:
Researchers have developed a more energy efficient way of connecting our personal devices. New technology consumes less power than Bluetooth and can improve battery life of tech accessories, including earbuds and fitness trackers. Future applications could see us unlocking a door by touching its handle or shaking hands to exchange phone numbers.
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University of Sussex researchers have developed a more energy-efficient alternative to transmit data that could potentially replace Bluetooth in mobile phones and other tech devices. With more and more of us owning smart phones and wearable tech, researchers at the University of Sussex have found a more efficient way of connecting our devices and improving battery life. Applied to wearable devices, it could even see us unlocking doors by touch or exchanging phone numbers by shaking hands.

Professor Robert Prance and Professor Daniel Roggen, of the University of Sussex, have developed the use of electric waves, rather than electromagnetic waves, for a low-power way to transmit data at close range, while maintaining the high throughput needed for multimedia applications.

Bluetooth, Wifi, and 5G currently rely on electromagnetic modulation, a form of wireless technology which was developed over 125 years ago. In the late 19th Century, the focus was to transmit data over long distances using electromagnetic waves. By contrast, electric field modulation uses short-range electric waves, which consumes much less power than Bluetooth.

As we tend to be in close proximity to our devices, electric field modulation offers a proven, more efficient method of connecting our devices, enabling longer lasting battery life when streaming music to headphones, taking calls, using fitness trackers, or interacting with smart home tech.

The development could advance how we use tech in our day to day lives and evolve a wide range of futuristic applications too. For example, a bracelet using this technology could enable phone numbers to be exchanged simply by shaking hands or a door could be unlocked just by touching the handle.

Daniel Roggen, Professor of Engineering and Design at the University of Sussex, explains:

"We no longer need to rely on electromagnetic modulation, which is inherently battery hungry. We can improve the battery life of wearable technology and home assistants, for example, by using electric field modulation instead of Bluetooth. This solution will not only make our lives much more efficient, but it also opens novel opportunities to interact with devices in smart homes.

"The technology is also low cost, meaning it could be rolled out to society quickly and easily. If this were mass produced, the solution can be miniaturised to a single chip and cost just a few pence per device, meaning that it could be used in all devices in the not-too-distant future."

The University of Sussex researchers are now seeking industrial partnerships to help further miniaturize the technology for personal devices.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Sussex. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Robert Cobden, Muhammad Zeeshan, Daniel Roggen, Robert J. Prance, Arash Pouryazdan. Characterisation of Wearable Electric-Field Communication Link for BAN Multimedia Applications. 2023 IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications (PerCom), 2023 DOI: 10.1109/PERCOM56429.2023.10099133

Cite This Page:

University of Sussex. "Long in the Bluetooth: Scientists develop a more efficient way to transmit data between our devices." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 November 2023. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/11/231121175217.htm>.
University of Sussex. (2023, November 21). Long in the Bluetooth: Scientists develop a more efficient way to transmit data between our devices. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 22, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/11/231121175217.htm
University of Sussex. "Long in the Bluetooth: Scientists develop a more efficient way to transmit data between our devices." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/11/231121175217.htm (accessed February 22, 2024).

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