Important: Smart Gate / Smart Key users - please update the Smart Key (iOS) app to the latest release
Apple today released iOS 11.2, the second major update to the iOS 11 operating system available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. iOS 11.2 comes a month after iOS 11.1, the first major update to iOS 11, and it follows several other smaller bug fix updates.
The iOS 11.2 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings --> General --> Software Update. Eligible devices include the iPhone 5s and later, the iPad mini 2 and later, the iPad Air and later, and the 6th-generation iPod touch.
iOS 11.2, as a major 11.x update, brings several new features and important bug fixes. It introduces Apple Pay Cash, Apple's peer-to-peer payments service. Apple Pay Cash works through the Messages app and is designed to allow for quick person-to-person money transfers, like Square Cash or Venmo.
You can quickly and easily send and receive money through iMessage conversations with Apple Pay Cash. Cash is sent from a linked debit or credit card, while received cash is stored in an Apple Pay Cash card in the Wallet app and can be used for purchases or transferred to a bank account. For more on Apple Pay Cash.
For the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus iOS 11.2 appears to introduce faster 7.5W wireless charging speeds through compatible Qi-based wireless charging accessories. At 7.5W charging speeds, the three new iPhones are able to charge faster wirelessly than with the standard 5W wired iPhone power adapter.
When it comes to the iPhone X interface, iOS 11.2 adds a small bar underneath the status bar icons located at the upper right side of the Lock screen, which is designed to make the location of the Control Center gesture more clear. On the iPhone X, Control Center is accessed by swiping down from the top of the device.
In Control Center on all devices, there are two new informational pop-ups that are displayed when using the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth toggles. These pop-ups explain that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are disabled temporarily rather than permanently when accessed from the Control Center.
iOS 11.2 introduces a new Sports section in the dedicated TV app, which offers up access to live sports games through integration with the ESPN app. The Sports app can be accessed through a new "Sports" tab at the bottom of the app, and it offers up custom content based on team preferences and current sports seasons.
There are multiple bug fixes in the update, including a fix for an animation bug in the Calculator app that caused some numbers and symbols to be ignored when entered in rapid succession. The update removes the animations from the calculator app so calculations can be done quickly with no need to pause between entering numbers to obtain the correct result.
The update also addresses a date bug that caused continual crashing in iOS 11.1.2 after December 2. The problem was linked to local notifications, and according to a support document, it is fixed in iOS 11.2.
Other new features in iOS 11.2 include redesigned camera emojis and other emoji tweaks, a new loading animation for Live Photos effects, and Live wallpapers for the iPhone X. For developers, the update introduces a new feature that allows them to offer new customers discounted introductory pricing for auto-renewable subscriptions in the App Store.
Apple has just released iOS 11.2 Beta 5 for registered developers with an iPhone or iPad. Here’s how you can update straight away.
iOS 11.2 Beta 5 for Developers Has Arrived with Bug Fixes & Performance Enhancements.
We were expecting Apple to come through with the final build of iOS 11.2 but boy they proved our predictions wrong. It appears as though that iOS 11.2 is still under development stages as the fifth beta of the software was just seeded to registered developers a while back. And instead of packing in some new features, users shouldn’t expect more than bug fixes in this release. After all, we are moving towards the final build and we shouldn’t expect nothing more than further polish at this point.
You can download iOS 11.2 Beta 5 over the air, and the steps remain the same as ever, even the prerequisites. First of all, make sure that you have more than 50% of battery life remaining, if not, then you might want to plug your iPhone or iPad to a charger. Once done, connect to a WiFi network then navigate to Settings > General > Software Update. As soon as you see the software update, tap on Download and Install. The entire process shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes at most. Once done, you can start using your device normally.
The update’s download image is available straight from the Apple Developer Program website for a clean restore. But of course, as you’d expect, the image is only accessible if you have a legit and fully working membership with Apple. But hey, take the over the air route I’d say. It’s easier to follow and there’s no hassle of connecting your device with iTunes whatsoever.
We will keep you informed if there’s something important in this release. Till then, make sure you update your device at the first chance you get.
With iOS 11, Apple changed the way the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi toggles in Control Center work. The two buttons are no longer standard on/off switches, and instead disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi only for a set period of time.
In the new iOS 11.2 beta released this morning, Apple has added new informational pop-ups to let users know exactly how these toggles work. The new pop-ups explain that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will be disabled temporarily rather than permanently.
Prior to today's update, the Control Center toggles for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth could be somewhat confusing, because there was no on-device explanation. Apple outlined how the toggles work in a support document, but if you didn't see it, you might wonder why Wi-Fi or Bluetooth were turning themselves back on after being disabled via Control Center.
These new messages will appear the first time the Control Center toggles are used. Subsequent uses will show a message at the top that reads "Disconnecting Nearby Wi-Fi Networks Until Tomorrow" or "Disconnecting Bluetooth Devices Until Tomorrow."
While Apple's new pop-ups offer a better explanation than was previously available, there are other situations where Wi-Fi or Bluetooth might be turned back on sooner than one day. When you use the Wi-Fi toggle in Control Center, Wi-Fi is disabled until one of the following conditions occurs:
- Wi-Fi is reactivated using Control Center
- You connect to a Wi-Fi network using Settings > Wi-Fi
- You walk or drive to a new location
- It's 5:00 a.m. local time
- Your iOS device is restarted
When you use the Bluetooth toggle in Control Center, Bluetooth is disabled until one of the following conditions occurs:
- Bluetooth is reactivated using control Center
- You connect to a Bluetooth accessory in Settings > Bluetooth
- It's 5:00 a.m. local time
- Your iOS device is restarted
To more permanently disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on an iOS device running iOS 11, it's necessary to go to the Settings app and toggle these features off in the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth sections. Apple likely made the change to Control Center in iOS 11 for a better overall user experience, as some iPhone and iPad owners might not realize the impact that turning Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off can have when it comes to iOS features like GPS directions, Continuity, and more.
In addition to introducing a message to let users know how Bluetooth and Wi-Fi work in Control Center, on the iPhone X, there's also a small UI change designed to make the Control Center gesture more obvious. Whenever you're on the Lock screen, there's a small bar underneath the icons on the right side of the device, letting you know there's more to see there. The bar is not displayed on the Home screen of an unlocked iPhone X, nor is it displayed within apps.
For those unfamiliar, accessing the Control Center on the iPhone X is done from a swipe down on the top right side of the device rather than a swipe upwards from the bottom.
With iBlue Smart Gate and the iBlue Smart Key application you can give access to your gate with a virtual shared key.
- unlimited key: it hasn't any limitation, the unlimited shared key owner can manage the gate until the master key owner revoked that.
- time based key: the master key owner can share access with expiration date and time, the key can no longer be used after the expiration date
- one-time key: this kind of shared key only permits one usage
With the Smart Key app you can share unlimited numbers of access to unlimited numbers of users. It hasn't any usage fee. It is totally free to use.
Fake iBlue Smart Gate products at the Amazon Prime Marketplace.
We have been informed that several customers have purchased a fake iBlue Smart Gate from Amazon Prime (UK, Spain and French). Products sold by Amazon Prime are unlicensed fake devices. Product description and pictures are stolen from other dealers. TheÂ product is misleadingly similar to the original iBlue Smart Gate product but can not be used and does not work with the official iBlue Smart Key application.
These devices from Amazon Prime are banned our servers - do not work, there is no warranty and product support!
Buy iBlue Smart Gate only from iBlue contracted partners.
The following dealers are official iBlue resellers in the Amazon Marketplace:
- Selindus (UK and India)
- iBlue Espana (Spain)
- 3Bit (Italy)
Buy only from an authorized reseller or at iBlue's webshop. You will find a reseller list here.
If you purchased fake iBlue Smart Gate product from the Amazon Prime seller, please contact us.
Update: please do not use OTA (Over-the-Air) update from iOS 10 to iOS 11. Download the latest IPSW file for your iPhone or iPad then update with iTunes.
1. Connect your iPhone or iOS device to your computer.
2. Select the device in iTunes.
3. On a Mac, hold down the â€œOptionâ€ key and then click on â€œUpdateâ€
4. On a Windows PC, hold down â€œSHIFTâ€ key and then click on â€œUpdateâ€
5. Select the IPSW file you downloaded and click â€œChooseâ€
6. Let the iOS device update as usual.
Apple has released iOS 11.1 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The latest software update adds hundreds of new emoji characters including new expressions, vampires and zombies, breastfeeding, dinosaurs and many more. Other changes include the return of the 3D Touch gesture for multitasking, a smoother scroll-to-top animation, and other bug fixes and improvements.
Apple first previewed these new emoji over the summer then teased them again in recent betas. Now iOS 11.1 is available to all customers following a brief beta period. You’ll need iOS 11.1 to both send and receive the new emoji characters, otherwise you won’t find them in the keyboard picker and you’ll only receive generic blocks and broken up emoji in place of the new characters.
iOS 11.1 also restores the popular 3D Touch multitasking gesture on iPhone 6s and later. This lets you touch the left edge of the display with pressure to enter multitasking or pull with pressure from left to right to switch between two apps. Apple previously removed this gesture (which works differently on iPhone X) but modified it and restored it with iOS 11.1.
Reachability has also improved so you can reliably double tap the Home button to lower the screen in more places, and there’s a smoother animation when tapping the top of the display to return to the top of a window.
There are also many bug fixes and security improvements in iOS 11.1. Most notably, the update addresses a major vulnerability in the WPA2 Wi-Fi standard that is used to protect many modern Wi-Fi networks. The exploit, which is now fixed, let attackers use a key reinstallation attack or "KRACK" to decrypt network traffic to sniff out sensitive information. Full release notes for the update, including all of the bug fixes, are available below:
- Over 70 new emoji characters including new food types, animals, mythical creatures, clothing options, more expressive smiley faces, gender-neutral characters and more
- Resolves an issue that could cause some photos to appear blurry
- Addresses an issue that could cause Live Photo effects to playback slowly
- Fixes an issue that could cause some photos to not display in the People album when restoring from an iCloud Backup
- Fixes an issue that could impact performance when swiping between screenshots
- Improves braille support for Grade 2 input
- Improves VoiceOver access to multi-page PDFs
- Improves VoiceOver rotor actions for announcing incoming notifications
- Improves VoiceOver rotor actions menu when removing an app from the App Switcher
- Fixes an issue for some users where alternative keys would not display when using VoiceOver with Touch Typing
- Fixes an issue where VoiceOver rotor would always return to default action in Mail
- Fixes an issue where VoiceOver rotor would not delete messages
Other improvements and fixes
- Adds back support for accessing the app switcher by pressing on edge of display with 3D Touch
- Fixes an issue that caused cleared Mail notifications to reappear on Lock screen
- Fixes an issue in enterprise environments that prevented data from being moved between managed apps
- Fixes an issue with some 3rd-party GPS accessories that caused inaccuracies in location data
- Resolves an issue where settings for Heart Rate notifications were appearing in Apple Watch app (1st generation)
- Fixes an issue where app icons were not appearing in notifications on Apple Watch
The free smartphone app required to operate the gate opener can be downloaded from the App Store (iOS), Google Play (Android).
Using the application, the virtual keys of iBlue devices can be shared with family members and friends to use based on their own individual access rights. In case of office buildings and residential parks, virtual keys belonging to one gate can be easily shared in an unlimited manner using an application managed by a primary user.
It can be yours: https://iblue.eu/store
Here's How to Fix it
Like in case of any major iOS software update this time also some users seem to have problems after updating (OTA) to iOS 11 such as Wi-Fi / Bluetooth connection problems, draining battery life a lot faster etc.
Some users seem to be having problems connecting their iPhones and iPads to Bluetooth devices (iBlue Smart Gate) after installing the iOS 11 update.
For the very first step, please take it into consideration, that the problem is actually based on your iPhone or iPad and not on the Bluetooth accessory (iBlue Smart Gate /Smart Key) you're trying to connect to.
After you have considered that the problem lies in you iPhone or iPad running iOS 11, here are a few solutions you could try:
1. Turn off Bluetooth and Reboot
The first thing to try is to turn off your Bluetooth and restart your iPhone or iPad:
- Turn off Bluetooth by going to Settings > Bluetooth and turning off the Bluetooth toggle.
- Hard reset your iPhone by holding the Home button (Volume down button on iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus) and the Power button until you see the Apple logo.
- Now enable Bluetooth again from Control Center or Settings > Bluetooth.
- Try connecting to the device now. If the problem still isn't solved, try the next solution.
2. Reset Network Settings
If the first tip did not work, you could also try resetting your network settings. A side effect of doing this is that all your Wi-Fi settings will also be cleared, so you might have to rejoin Wi-Fi networks, and configure VPN all over again.
Here's how to reset network settings:
- Open Settings and navigate to General > Reset
- Tap Reset Network Settings
- You'll be required to enter your passcode, if you have one.
- Confirm your action in the popup
3. Restore and Setup as new iPhone
This is not ideal, but if none of these tips fix your issues, the last resort is to restore your iPhone or iPad via iTunes, and set it up as a new device. This way, you start afresh, and get rid of possibly problematic customizations and settings on your device.
- Open iTunes on your Mac or PC. If you can't access a computer and your device still works, you can erase and restore your device without a computer.
- Connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod to your computer with the cable that came with your device.
- If a message asks for your device passcode or to Trust This Computer, follow the onscreen steps. If you forgot your passcode, get help.
- Select your iPhone, iPad, or iPod when it appears in iTunes. For an unresponsive device or one that won't turn on, learn what to do. Or get help if your device doesn't appear in iTunes.
- In the Summary panel, click Restore [device].
- Click Restore again to confirm. Then iTunes erases your device and installs the latest iOS or iPod software.
- After your device restores to factory settings, it restarts. Now you can set it up as new.
4. Repair Bluetooth Issues on iOS 11 via ReiBoot
If your Bluetooth not available on iOS 11 still exist, you may then try to use third party software to fix this problem. ReiBoot, a free tool to put iOS device into recovery mode and bring it back to normal with 1 click.
Windows: Free Download Size: 5.4MB ( For Windows )
Mac: Free Download Size: 9.5MB ( For Mac )
Run ReiBoot and connect iPhone with PC/Mac. Click "Enter Recovery Mode", and click "Exit Recovery Mode" until you see iTunes and USB icons on iPhone screen. Then your iPhone may turn back to normal.
Besides, if the Bluetooth connectivity issues on iOS 11 related to your iPhone operating system, you can also use the powerful feature Fix All iOS Stuck of ReiBoot to repair corrupted iOS system to get the problem solved.
5. Repair Bluetooth Issues on iOS 11 with eBeacon app
- Download the eBeacon application from the AppStore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ebeacon-ibeacon-eddystone-ble-device-scanner/id730279939?mt=8
- When you start the app, it will search for the device, so it will be also viable in the Bluetooth devices list.
- After this, you have to switch off and again on the BT in the settings.
- Then you restart your phone.
- From then on, the Bluetooth module will be updated, so there won’t be any disfunction.
- And the Smart Key app will also see the device.
Support article source:
On 17 September, the latest iOS 11 will be available for download. We are preparing for the big event. The latest iBlue Smart Key (iOS) app is already at Apple.
If you already have iOS 11 beta on your phone, please send us (firstname.lastname@example.org) the Apple ID and receive an invitation to the Test Flight version.
The Smart Key app. Your mobile command center.
iBlue Smart Gate works with the free Smart Key app to create keys, grant access, view the activity log, and more, available for Android™ and iOS®. You can even use your Apple watch to lock/unlock your door, view your activity log, and receive instant notifications.
Buy Smart Gate: http://iblue.eu/store/
iOS 10.2.1 is latest software update after the previous iOS 10.2 update. Released on December 12, iOS 10.2 brought Unicode 9.0 emoji characters, three new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus wallpapers, a new TV app, additional camera features, new Messages screen effects, and more.
Major changes aren’t expected in iOS 10.2.1, although a new iOS 10.3 beta is rumored and may include a new Theater Mode toggle accessible in part via Control Center ahead of iOS 11 later this year.
Developers on the iOS 10.2.1 beta will not see an update as the beta build and released build numbers are the same (14D27). As we await those major releases, we’ll test the latest iOS 10.2.1 software update and note any changes here.
The latest iOS 10.2.1 beta release, identified as 14D27, arrives just three days after Apple seeded build 14D23 to developers and mere hours after the fourth beta of macOS hit distribution servers.
While specific changes are left unmentioned in today's release notes, the timing and build number suggests only minor bug fixes and improvements are included in the new software.
Apple appears to have returned to its usual beta software release schedule following a holiday break, issuing a third iOS 10.2.1 beta alongside new beta builds for macOS, tvOS, and watchOS on Monday. The company seeded initial beta builds in in mid-December which were followed by second versions on Dec. 20.
Developers who have not already provisioned their iPhone or iPad to receive over-the-air updates can download iOS 10.2.1 through Apple's developer portal. Apple ID owners who enrolled their device to test Apple betas can download today's seed via Apple's Beta Software Program website.
The History of Bluetooth
Bluetooth technology was created in the late 90s when companies were coming up with ways to eliminate cords and make products operate together wirelessly. In the early 2000s, a special interest group was formed that was devoted to Bluetooth technology which is now the Bluetooth SIG.
To be able to use Bluetooth technology in your products, you need to become a member of the Bluetooth SIG. After that, you will have access to the technology and obtain a license to use the Bluetooth trademark.
The current standard for Bluetooth is version 4.2. Bluetooth 5 should be available in the coming year and will add more IoT functionalities, including range, speed, and beacons (location activation).
Where Can You Find Bluetooth?
With over 3 billion Bluetooth products on the market, chances are you tripped over one between brushing your teeth and drinking a cup of coffee. Bluetooth technology is everywhere from smartphones and tablets, speakers and headphones, and sports and fitness devices and other wearable technology. Increasingly, people looking to live a healthier life are incorporating wearable technology to help them achieve their goals. The sharing and monitoring of these devices allow the users to share the content with themselves across multiple platforms as well as with their healthcare providers.
IoT, smart home, and smart industrial applications are continuing to join the market in an exciting way. Imagine Bluetooth in a light switch that talks to the light bulb to tell it when to turn on or off. Then that same smart light switch is connected to the door lock so that when the front door is opened, the light switch knows to tell the light bulb to turn on and illuminate the room.
Is There Too Much Bluetooth?
Will your Bluetooth stop working if you have multiple devices in the same room? Fortunately, that has not become a concern. Bluetooth uses adaptive frequency hopping, which allows the device to switch frequencies to continue to operate at optimal levels. This also helps if more than one Bluetooth device enters a space. By hopping to another frequency, the devices will not collide on the same frequency.
The pairing of Bluetooth devices, as well as management of them, will become easier as new technology developments are released. Consider what Apple did by cutting the cord on their headphones—this will help encourage other companies to come up with similar innovative solutions for their products. However, cutting the cord is not as simple as it sounds. Innovators need to consider how the power will be consumed, how much data the device will send, and how the audio will be transferred and at what quality. Improving these capabilities and others will help devices become more intelligent.
Is Bluetooth Secure?
The current Bluetooth standard, 4.2, is government grade. The market chooses the appropriate level of security that goes into products. Taking that into consideration, the $10 Bluetooth speakers you picked up at the checkout counter probably are not as secure as the $300 speakers. Chances are, the audio is not as good either. If security is a concern, you can look at the specifications list for the product. Purchase the products that include the most secure version of Bluetooth technology to meet your security needs.
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- 2 pcs Immobilizer Devices
- 1 pcs Smart Gate Device
- Quick Start Guide
- PUK / QR code card
- Free apps for iPhone and Android
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- 1 pcs Immobilizer Devices
- 2 pcs Smart Gate Device
- Quick Start Guide
- PUK / QR code card
- Free apps for iPhone and Android
- faster than ever!
- PIN / PUK functions working well
- iBeacon / hands-free mode blazing fast - notification within 2 sec
- Working well with Apple watch notification
Next week, you also receive the update. hurray
Buy iBlue Immobilizer with free shipping here: iBlue Immobilizer Store
Some of the newest laptops are 13.1mm at their thickest point, which leaves little space for I/O ports like the 7.5mm tall USB socket. Any connector still needs some vertical clearance internally to connect to the motherboard and the rest of the system, as well as clearance for the physical plug itself. Enter the new USB-C connector, which will help PC manufacturers create thinner and lighter laptops and tablets.
What Is USB-C?
USB-C is the hot, new industry standard connector and cable used for connectivity and power . The USB-C connector was developed by the USB Implementers Forum, the group of companies that has developed, certified, and shepherded the USB standard. It counts over 700 companies in its membership, including Apple, Dell, HP, Intel, Microsoft, and Samsung. This is important, because it's more likely to be accepted by the majority of PC manufacturers. Contrast this with the Apple-promoted (and developed) Lightning and MagSafe connectors, which have limited acceptance beyond Apple products.
So, It's Like Micro USB?
Yes, the USB-C connector looks like a micro USB connector at first glance, but it's slightly thicker to accommodate its best feature: like Lightning and MagSafe, the USB-C connector has no up or down orientation. As long as the connector is lined up right, you won't have to flip the connector to plug it in! The cables also have the same connector on both ends, so you won't ever have to figure out which end to plug in, unlike the older USB cables we've been using for the past 20 years.
Is This USB 3.1?
Yup, this is USB 3.1, which is theoretically twice as fast as USB 3.0. It's fully compatible electrically with USB 3.0, though obviously it won't plug in physically without an adapter. By the way, it's about as fast as the original specs for Thunderbolt (10Gbps).
What About Those Adapters?
Some laptops don't come with any adapters aside from the charger and a single USB-C cable. Others will be available separately. Apple's USB-C to USB 3.0 adapter will be $19, but the one that will give you the most utility is the decidedly expensive $79 USB-C AV Multiport Adapter, which gives you USB 3.1 Gen 1 (the old connector), USB-C pass through for charging, and an HDMI port. Since USB-C is an industry standard connector, cheaper adapters are inevitable. (Check out our list of USB-C cables and adapters that are already on the market.)
What Else Does it Support?
The USB-C connector supports DisplayPort, HDMI, power, USB, and VGA. Notably absent is Thunderbolt, which is superseded by USB-C, just like FireWire was replaced by Thunderbolt. USB-C-to-Ethernet is a no-brainer, but you may have to daisy chain an older USB-to-Ethernet adapter to your USB-C adapter for the time being.
The MacBook comes with a 29-watt power supply, while larger laptops have 85- to 135-watt power supplies. Traditional AC adapters use a morass of different sizes and shapes (barrel, MagSafe, Lightning, micro-USB). Indications are that the USB-C standard supports at least 100 watts of power delivery, so it's possible that USB-C could replace most power adapters as a standard in the future. Using USB to power a laptop isn't new, though. Look at the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro $1,099.00 at Lenovo, which has a full-size USB 3.0 power connector.
So I'll Have to Buy New Cables and Adapters?
Yes, unfortunately, you will. However, once you buy a cable or two, they will work with everything that supports USB-C, unlike the situation today, where pulling a mini USB cable out of your bag to charge your micro USB-equipped Samsung Galaxy S6 phone is almost as useless as grabbing a Nokia Pop-Port or Sony Ericsson charger.
We're only scratching the surface of what USB-C can do, but one thing is certain: the next generation of cross-platform connectors is here, just as the original USB stadnard replaced Apple Desktop Bus (ADB), FireWire, parallel, PS/2, SCSI, and serial ports on Macs and PCs.
Article source: PCMag.com
An awkward-sounding secret weapon, really: a portrait slider phone that runs Android. Not one that runs Android apps, mind you — BB10 devices can already do that. They even ship with Amazon’s app store pre-installed. No, this particular BlackBerry would run the full Android OS, just like a Galaxy S6 or a Nexus 6.
IT’S EASY TO take Wi-Fi for granted (as long as you have the password). But what if it did more than facilitate your Pinterest habit? What if instead of just connecting your devices to the Internet, it charged them as well, no wires required?
That’s the promise of new research from a team at the University of Washington, which has developed what it’s calling a “power over Wi-Fi” system that can recharge batteries through the air, from up to 28 feet away.
The system comprises just two components; an access point (a router), and custom-built sensors. “The goal of the sensors is to harvest RF (radio frequency) power and convert it into DC power,” explains Vamsi Talla, a researcher on the project. “The second piece, the access point, there we actually developed a custom solution on it, just a software modification that would enable the access point to act both as a good power delivery source and, simultaneously, also as a good Wi-Fi router.” In other words, it achieves power over Wi-Fi in a way that both works with pre-existing hardware, and doesn’t interfere with your Internet connection one bit.
Those are two important distinctions. As Popular Science notes, Energous already sells a device that transmits power through the air through RF signals. It requires entirely new, dedicated hardware, though, and loses the Wi-Fi aspect. The UW research, meanwhile, can coexist with traditional Wi-Fi routers, pushing both data and energy simultaneously. Or, more accurately, efficiently harnessing the energy that your router already puts out.
As for Wi-Fi interference, there’s a hard cap on how much output of any kind your router can manage at once, sort of like how putting more ketchup on a hot dog leaves less room for mustard. But the UW team came up with a clever workaround to make sure neither charging nor connectivity goes sideways.
“If we wanted to just blast as much power as we possibly can, that would kill your Wi-Fi, because you’d have power on the channel all the time,” explains Bryce Kellogg, another researcher on the project. “We optimized the router so that we can deliver what seems like, to the sensor, constant power without impacting your Wi-Fi too much. Instead of having continuous power on one of your Wi-Fi channels, we split it among your three non-overlapping Wi-Fi channels. That allows us to deliver about the same amount of power without impacting any one channel very much.”
The team has already tested this out with temperature sensors, a camera, and rechargeable batteries, powering all from ranges of 20 feet, 17 feet, and 28 feet, respectively. If those applications seem a little small-fry, don’t blame them. Blame the FCC, which has imposed a one-watt limit on router power output, for reasons that are mysterious to Talla and company. Should those restrictions loosen, you could start to see far more robust applications.
And you won’t just see them in a lab. The UW team has already installed functional systems in six Seattle-area homes, using Asus RT-AC68U routers outfitted with custom code. It’s worth noting both that the router model they used is several years old, and ultimately inconsequential. It could just as easily be the router in your office right now. “In theory, it’s just a firmware upgrade,” says Talla, with the caveat that hardware manufacturers would need to be on board. While they don’t have any deals in place currently, the team is actively exploring the possibility.
They’ve already founded a startup to help take what they’ve achieved so far and turn it into an actual product. And they see plenty of opportunity for improvement along the way, from increasing the maximum range by making the harvesters more efficient, to tweaking the code to beef up the access point.
“The work we’ve published, you could think of it as the first proof of concept,” says Talla. “But it’s by no means the optimal solution. We’re actively working to make it better.”
They’re also working on nailing down exactly who their market might be, whether it better fits more industrial or commercial needs. The answer would probably be much more clear if they weren’t faced with FCC-imposed wattage limitations, but there’s still plenty of appeal in smaller doses.
Besides, even if they can only ever dispense power in trickles instead of floods, it’s an impressive achievement. Forget power mats and battery packs; the energy we need is already all around us. Now we have a way to harness it—and stay connected, too.
Article source: Wired - Power over Wi-Fi