Data and power could run over the same wireless network

Combining power to operate equipment, as well as delivering substantial data rates that are good enough for video — in the same piece of radio kit — is now obtainable, scientists say.

The developing system works similar to how charging pads provide power to a toothbrush or a mobile phone without having to be connected through wires. However, in this case, the apparatus doesn’t need any physical contact with the device and data can be sent at the same time.

Magnetic fields are being used to transmit power through the air, North Carolina State University researchers say in a press release.

The radios used in those devices operate with narrow bandwidth antennas that were thought couldn’t handle data at the same time. (A second sending and receiving radio has to be incorporated. That adds to the weight, bulk and cost — three things that adversely affect take-up.)

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