University of Sussex researchers innovated an energy-efficient alternative to transmit data that could replace Bluetooth in mobile phones and other devices. They discovered a more efficient way to connect devices and improve battery life. Wearable devices could unlock doors by touch and exchange phone numbers with a handshake.
The development involves using electric waves, not electromagnetic waves, for a lower power means transmitting data at close range yet maintaining a high throughput.
Bluetooth, WIFI, and 5G’s electromagnetic modulation were developed over 125 years ago when the focus was to transmit data over long distances via electromagnetic waves. Electric field modulation employs short-range electric waves, using much less power than Bluetooth. It enables longer-lasting battery life when streaming music to headphones, taking calls, using fitness trackers, or using smart home tech.
The development could also enable a wide range of futuristic applications, such as a bracelet that allows an exchange of phone numbers simply by shaking hands and unlocking a door just by touching the handle.
The technology is also low-cost, which means quick and easy implementation. If mass-produced, it could be a single-chip solution. The researchers are looking for industrial partnerships to miniaturize the technology for personal devices.