UW team develops 'breakthrough' in Wi-Fi technology


SEATTLE -- A group of University of Washington students believe they've come up with a revolutionary new way to connect people to the internet.

Nearly everyone who uses the internet uses Wi-Fi, but using it to stream movies, connect laptops to printers or make calls without cell service uses a lot of energy.

Now a team of UW computer scientists and electrical engineers has come up with a way to "generate Wi-Fi transmissions using 10,000 times less power than conventional methods," according to the University of Washington.

The new Passive Wi-Fi system also consumes 1,000 times less power than existing energy-efficient wireless communication platforms, such as Bluetooth Low Energy and Zigbee, according to UW.

"By reducing how much power it takes to connect to Wi-Fi, it can drastically increase the battery life in devices that currently use Wi-Fi Or, more generally, you can now add Wi-Fi to things that you couldn't put Wi-Fi in before because it was too power hungry," said Bryce Kellog, a graduate student research assistant who works on the project.

The technology has been named one of the 10 breakthrough technologies of 2016 by MIT Technology Review, according to UW.