Los Gatos-based Questwise Ventures has launched a new gadget which aims to deliver Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity without the need to power the transmitting side — by using an energy-harvesting push-button capable of driving its own radio.
"The Energy-Harvesting Wireless Transmitter & Receiver [is] a revolutionary solution exclusively designed for the seamless transmission of a single signal," Questwise says of its creation. "The transmitter cleverly captures energy via a specially designed button, optimized for energy harvesting. This button incorporates an inventive spring mechanism, efficiently capturing and releasing energy generated with each press. This energy is seamlessly directed to a coil, which subsequently powers the transmitter."
If that sounds familiar, that's because the technology has already been in use for self-powered door chimes — where the button, located outside, can be installed without power and draw the energy required to send a trigger to the bell box from the physical act of pushing the button.
In Questwise's version, the transmitter is linked to a receiver designed for connection to a microcontroller or other powered device. Upon receipt of a signal from the transmitter — which can be "a couple of meters away," or around six and a half feet, Questwise says — the receiver can send out a momentary pulse or a latching toggle signal, to be interpreted and acted upon as you see fit.
"Using a self-powered transmitter in situations where the receiver needs to be powered can offer distinct advantages, particularly in scenarios where you want to minimize maintenance, increase reliability, or enhance convenience," the company says, suggesting it could find a use for everything from doorbells to emergency signaling.
The transmitter and receiver are available as a matched pair on the Questwise Ventures Tindie store, priced at $21.30.