The Internet of Things (IoT) offers disruptive potential to address the most urgent challenges of our world from climate change to ensuring clean energy, safe food and caring for our health and well-being. Wireless IoT sensory devices can be placed on, in or near people, equipment, infrastructure and our environment to gather and enable such services. Analysts predict a 1 trillion sensor economy by the year 2025 . However, to achieve this vision we need to address the ‘power IoT’ gap, i.e. batteries that outlive the IoT devices they power. At present a typical battery life is ~2 years or less. With most devices operating for >10 years, it leads to multiple battery replacements resulting in device downtime and maintenance trade-offs as well as major economic and environmental issues related to the manufacture and disposal of hundreds of millions of batteries every single day. In addition, there are many untapped IoT applications due to the downtime implications and extreme costs and logistics of battery replacement throughout the device lifetime including medical technologies, implantables, and installations in harsh environments (Figure 1).
The magazine web seminar for the September 2021 cover article “The Virtuous Circle of 5G, IoT and Energy Harvesting” by Brian Zahnstecher and Mike Hayes is now available at https://resourcecenter.ieee-pels.org/education/webinars/PELSWEB111021V.html.
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