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3-D-printed, WiFi-connected plastic objects could advance the Internet of Things

A novel approach to connecting everyday appliances via the Internet manages to wirelessly link objects without the use of batteries or electronics. Three-dimensionally printed, plastic objects, developed by researchers at University of Washington, employ a backscatter gear, spring and antenna mechanism, which transmits data by reflecting radio signals emitted by a WiFi router. This innovation could lead to a battery-free slider to control music volume, a button that automatically orders new laundry detergent and an alert system for leaking pipes.

Original air date: February 23, 2018

Credit: NSF

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