A group of researchers at Georgia Tech are working on a 3D-printed antenna that uses a technology called a Rotman lens to harvest energy from 5G by focusing beams of millimeter-wave electromagnetic radiation used in 5G. The result is usable energy. As 5G becomes more popular, the harvested energy could be used to power millions of low-power IoT devices, including wireless sensors.
The antenna is still in the research phase, and there are certainly obstacles to overcome. For example, it only works at a short range right now. However, it holds much promise for many areas. Smart cities and Industrial IoT will certainly have much to gain should the technology become available for commercial use.
You can read more about the ongoing research here, and be sure to keep up to date with all things IoT by checking out our blog and podcast. And while we wait and see if this antenna delivers on its promises, we continue to design IoT systems properly when battery life and low power are critical requirements. Check out our work on low-power IoT devices to see how we put our expertise to work to design low-power, long-battery-life systems.