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Power-over-Wi-Fi: Indian origin scientist develops Wi- Fi based system to power cameras

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Washington: An Indian-origin researcher Vamsi Talla has developed a system, that uses Wi-Fi internet signals to beam power to remote devices such as a surveillance camera.

The system is first of its kind and is known as power-over-Wi-Fi.

The idea is simple in concept. Wi-Fi radio broadcasts are a form of energy that a simple antenna can pick up.

Until now, Wi-Fi receivers have all been designed to harvest the information that these broadcasts carry.

Talla simply connected an antenna to a temperature sensor, placed it close to a Wi-Fi router and measured the resulting voltages in the device and for how long it can operate on the remote power source alone.

Even more ambitiously, the team also connected a camera to their antenna.

This was a low-power sensor capable of producing 174 x 144 pixel black and white images, which requires 10.4 milliJoules of energy per picture.

To store energy, they attached a low leakage capacitor to the camera which activates when the capacitor is charged and continues operating until the voltage drops to 2.4 Volts.

The images were stored in a 64 KB random access memory (RAM). In the subsequent tests, the camera performed remarkably well.

“The battery-free camera can operate up to (about five metres) from the router, with an image capture every 35 minutes,” Talla told MIT Technology Review.

By adding a rechargeable battery, he increased the distance to seven metres.

The router could even power the camera through a brick wall, demonstrating that it would be possible to attach the device outside while keeping the power supply inside.

“The technology would be hugely useful for surveillance, perhaps connected to a movement sensor to trigger the camera when something moves in its field of view,” Talla noted.

The team also connected their antenna to a Jawbone fitness tracker and used it to recharge the battery that powered it.

“Using this, we charge a Jawbone device in the vicinity of the power-over-Wi-Fi router from a no-charge state to 41 percent charged state in 2.5 hours,” the team pointed out.

According to the MIT report, power-over-Wi-Fi could be the enabling technology that finally brings the “Internet of Things” to life. (IANS)

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Cuba Gets Nationwide Internet For A Day

“We need to be able to put the content of the revolution online,” he told parliament in July, adding that Cubans could thus “counter the avalanche of pseudo-cultural, banal and vulgar content” on the internet.

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Internet companies support an economy-wide, national approach to regulation that protects the privacy of all Americans. VOA

Cuba’s government said it provided free internet to the Communist-run island’s more than 5 million cellphone users on Tuesday, in an eight-hour test before it launches sales of the service.

Cuba is one of the Western Hemisphere’s least connected countries. State-run telecommunications monopoly ETECSA announced the trial, with Tuesday marking the first time internet services were available nationwide.

There are hundreds of WiFi hotspots in Cuba but virtually no home penetration.

Dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez, considered the country’s social media pioneer, raved that she had directly sent a tweet from her mobile. In another tweet, she called the test a “citizen’s victory.”

A young Cuban checks his phone at an internet hotspot next to a picture of late revolutionary hero Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Havana
A young Cuban checks his phone at an internet hotspot next to a picture of late revolutionary hero Ernesto “Che” Guevara in Havana. VOA

On the streets of Havana, mobile users said they were happy about the day of free internet, even as some complained that connectivity was notably slower than usual.

“This is marvelous news because we can talk with family abroad without going to specific WiFi spots, there is more intimacy,” said taxi driver Andres Peraza.

Forty percent of Cubans have relatives living abroad.

Leinier Valdez, one of a group of young people trying to connect, said, “this is great. Its better and more so when you can connect for free.”

Hotspots currently charge about $1 an hour although monthly wages in Cuba average just $30.

The government has not yet said how much most Cubans would pay for mobile internet, or when exactly sales of the service will begin. But ETECSA is already charging companies and embassies $45 a month for four gigabytes.

Analysts have said broader Web access will ultimately weaken government control over what information reaches people in a country where the state has a monopoly on the media.

Cuba has lagged far behind most countries in Web access.
Cuba has lagged far behind most countries in Web access.

Whether because of a lack of cash, a long-running U.S. trade embargo or concerns about the flow of information, Cuba has lagged far behind most countries in Web access. Until 2013, internet was largely only available to the public at tourist hotels on the island.

But the government has since made boosting connectivity a priority, introducing cybercafes and outdoor Wi-Fi hotspots and slowly starting to hook up homes to the Web.

Long before he took office from Raul Castro in April, 58-year-old President Miguel Diaz-Canel championed the cause.

Also Read: Android Development and Data Analysis- Bloodlines of The Internet Industry

“We need to be able to put the content of the revolution online,” he told parliament in July, adding that Cubans could thus “counter the avalanche of pseudo-cultural, banal and vulgar content” on the internet. VOA