PREMISS is a tiny no-charge temperature sensor that pulls its power from the air

premiss tiny no charge temperature sensor pulls power from air is a that its the
Anssi Koskinen/Flickr
The world’s smallest temperature sensor is not only tiny, but also never needs to charge. The PREMISS sensor doesn’t contain a physical battery source and never requires a physical power source. All of this is thanks to the tiny technology that allows the sensor to pull energy from radio waves traveling across wireless networks. The chip could represent a major development in every one’s favorite consumer gadget complaint: battery life.

Dr. Hao Gao led the research to develop PREMISS at Eindhoven University of Technology. The sensor measures 2 millimeters square and is no heavier than a grain of sand. Because PREMISS pulls its power from radio waves, it can also send data to your device using the same radio waves. Its antenna captures energy from a wireless router, and the sensor switches on as soon as enough energy is stored. PREMISS then sends temperature data back to the router in the form of a distinctive radio wave frequency. The router can identify precise temperature data based on the distinctive frequency that PREMISS transmits.

The technology in PREMISS is fully functional, but is still extremely limited. Its transmission range still maxes out at a distance of approximately one inch. But Gao believes that with further research, it will be feasible to extend the range to as much as three feet or more within a year. Ultimately, Gao believes the chips will be able to transmit data across distances of up to 16 feet.

PREMISS in its current iteration is a temperature sensor, but the technology could also be applied to other kinds of measurements. Gao and his research team are considering applications to create sensors that analyze movement, light, and humidity, for example. In consumer gadgets, sensor technology that doesn’t require a physical battery charge is a game changer. But even beyond smartphones and devices, standalone sensors that don’t require batteries or heavy power sources could serve virtually any industry with something to measure.

Smart Home

We tested anti-snoring devices on our loudest friends. Here’s what worked

If your partner snores and it keeps you up at night, you may be interested in the latest anti-snoring technology. We tested out a few different gadgets to find out what they do and whether they work or not.
Smart Home

The best smart thermostats let you stay cool without wasting money

The right thermostat can do more than just adjust the temperature of your home, it can also learn about you and help you save money. Check out our picks for the best smart thermostats on the market right now.
Home Theater

Get the most boom for your buck with the best headphones under $100

Everybody wants a bargain, and this list has a bunch. For those looking for a solid set of headphones without spending a big stack of cash, this list is your ultimate guide. Check out our picks for the best headphones under $100.
Emerging Tech

Your smartphone could be the key to predicting natural disasters

A challenge for atmospheric scientists is gathering enough data to understand the complex, planet-wide weather system. Now a scientist has come up with a clever idea to gather more data using smartphones and Internet of Things devices.
Emerging Tech

The grainy texture of Saturn’s rings reveals clues to their origins

New analysis of data from Cassini shows that Saturn's rings are not smooth, but rather are grainy in texture. Scientists believe that tiny moons within the rings cause materials to cluster and form clumps and straw-like patterns.
Emerging Tech

The Very Large Telescope gets upgrade to aid its hunt for habitable exoplanets

The Very Large Telescope is growing even bigger. The latest addition to the telescope's suite of instruments is a tool called NEAR (Near Earths in the AlphaCen Region) which will hunt for exoplanets in the nearby Alpha Centauri star…
Emerging Tech

Tormented robot pulls a gun on its creators in latest Boston Dynamics spoof

Boston Dynamics' remarkable robots often receive a good few shoves in its videos, and the eager mistreatment recently inspired a team of L.A.-based video artists to give its rather amusing take on the matter.
Smart Home

A new survey by Adobe shows an evolving market for voice applications

A new consumer survey conducted by Adobe Analytics has uncovered a growing desire for more diversity in voice-controlled applications and devices as well as growing engagement with voice ads.
Emerging Tech

Live long and prosper? Experimental compound could slow down the aging process

Want to extend your natural lifespan beyond its current limits? A metabolite of biomolecules — found in pomegranates of all places — could help slow the aging process. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

Airbus’ new single-aisle jet has longest range in its class and a fancy cabin

Airbus has unveiled the design of its new A321XLR jet, an aircraft that it says will be capable of trips of around 5,400 miles, making it the world's longest range single-aisle airliner when it takes to the skies in 2023.

Google Calendar is back online. Here’s the latest on the outage

Google Calendar is down, and that means that instead of a day packed with back-to-back meetings and timely reminders, users are instead being treated to an error message. Here's the latest on the worldwide outage.
Emerging Tech

A tiny magnet accomplishes enormous feat, sets a new world record

A magnet housed in the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory has set a record for the strongest continuous DC magnetic field ever recorded. Here's why that matters to our future.

Brush up on your makeup skills with YouTube’s new augmented reality feature

YouTube will soon let users try on makeup while watching popular makeup tutorials through augmented reality. Viewers will be able to actually try on the makeup products the online tutorials are showcasing and promoting. 

Congress already wants to block rollout of Facebook’s cryptocurrency

It only took a few hours after Facebook provided details of its Libra cryptocurrency on Tuesday for lawmakers in Congress to tell the social media giant to pump the breaks. Facebook was asked to stop development until Congress weighs in.