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Low-power Wi-Fi system wins high praise

Image: Low-power Wi-Fi
UW researchers have generated Passive Wi-Fi transmissions that use 10,000 times less power than current methods. (Credit: UW via YouTube)

Computer scientists and engineers from the University of Washington say they’ve figured out a way to generate Wi-Fi transmissions using 10,000 times less power than conventional methods.

Not even low-power options such as Bluetooth Low Energy and Zigbee can match the system’s energy efficiency, based on a study to be presented in March at the 13th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation.

That level of performance has earned the UW team’s Passive Wi-Fi system a place on MIT Technology Review’s latest top-ten list of breakthrough technologies.

Other technologies on the list include rocket reusability, which is being pioneered by SpaceX and Blue Origin; Tesla’s Autopilot system for autonomous driving; and T-cell-based immunotherapy, which is the focus for researchers at Seattle-based Juno Therapeutics and other companies.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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