OPPO has revealed a couple of innovations at the ongoing Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. One of them is the new OPPO Zero-Power Tag.
At the annual mobile event, OPPO pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050. To achieve this, they want to make their manufacturing process and product designs more eco-friendly. The creation of the OPPO Zero-Power Tag is just the start.
As the name suggests, this device essentially works like the Apple AirTag, which allows you to attach it to your bag, wallet, keys, bicycles, and other valuable items, so you can track them in case you lose them or get stolen.
What makes OPPO’s alternative special is it doesn’t need a battery to operate. This reduces the need to mine special materials to make batteries and the waste that it produces once depleted.
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So, how does Zero-Power Tag work? OPPO showcased a prototype at the MWC 2023 and detailed how it uses technologies such as RF signal harvesting, backscattering, and lower-powering computing. It harvests radio waves from the surrounding area, which helps power itself. No battery needed.
The said ambient radio waves can be harvested from the broadcasts of FM radio and TV towers, cell sites, and WiFi access points. After getting such energy, the Tag can modulate them with its own information and send these signals outwards, a process that’s called backscattering communication.
However, the prototype looks noticeably large, almost the size of a playing card. The company said that, in the future, their technology will be able to harvest energy directly from cell signals, Bluetooth, and WiFi, which will make Zero-Power products smaller, cheaper, and more durable.