Background

Building automation body EnOcean Alliance showcased its latest innovation in IoT technology at the recent 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The alliance, which promotes wireless building automation standards for home, industrial buildings and public service organisations such as schools and hospitals, demonstrated battery-less sensors that communicate directly with household appliances and multimedia via internet protocol.

EnOcean has partnered with the ZigBee Alliance to develop a “specification for energy harvesting wireless communication technology” aimed at meeting increasing demand for interoperable, self-powered IoT sensor solutions, reports MarketWired.

Commenting on the new development, Graham Martin, chairman of the EnOcean Alliance, said: “Thanks to our cooperation with strong partners, we build the basis to directly connect battery-less sensor solutions to ZigBee 3.0 or the Internet and thus to open IoT platforms.

“The user doesn't need to care about the technology used by the single components but can benefit from a seamless connectivity in his smart home - the main concept of the IoT."

Battery-less IoT

The collaboration between the two organisations suggests that households and other users of IoT devices can run maintenance-free connected smart devices powered without wires or batteries.

EnOcean also said in a statement that energy harvesting wireless solutions and the ZigBee 3.0 protocol will widen the reach of both standards for worldwide applications.

The company said: "The cooperation connects the two alliances' advantages, synergies and track record of standards advancements to create an open, global specification that will extend energy harvesting wireless communication to a broader range of self-powered IoT sensor solutions.”

For the smart home, EnOcean demonstrated how wireless switches, sensors and actuators can be powered by energy out of motion, light and temperature.

“Visitors can activate wireless signals with their bodies as a source of energy when pressing a switch,” said a statement.

Dr Wald Siskens, CEO of EnOcean, said: "Our energy harvesting technology can power different ultra-low power protocols for wireless communication and transmitting sensor data.

“This enables radio-agnostic self-powered sensors and switches for an IoT with consequentially much fewer batteries.”