Scientists report they have developed the first self-powered nano-device that can transmit data wirelessly over long distances. The device consists of a nanogenerator that produces electricity from mechanical vibration/triggering, a capacitor to store the energy, and electronics that include a sensor and a radio transmitter similar to those in Bluetooth mobile phone headsets. Their device transmitted wireless signals that could be detected by an ordinary commercial radio at distances of more than 30 feet.
Researchers say the work proves the feasibility of a futuristic genre of tiny implantable medical sensors, airborne and stationary surveillance cameras and sensors, wearable personal electronics, and other devices that operate independently without batteries on energy collected from the environment. The research appears in American Chemical Society's Nano Letters journal. The authors acknowledge funding from DARPA and the U.S. Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences