By combining low-power energy circuits with energy harvesting systems, the need for battery replacements (and batteries altogether) can be reduced, enabling new applications in big data and The Internet of Things.
“It’s just physically impossible to replace trillions of batteries, not to mention all the toxic waste that would be produced from having to do that,” Odelberg says.
Sensing applications particularly benefit from a reduced need for batteries. Low-powered devices can be used to detect and track movement and map building layouts in order to keep people safe in dangerous scenarios. These devices can also power biomedical implants to evaluate drug effectiveness and monitor vital signs, or used in environmental sensors that monitor pollution or track animal migration.