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The devices that we connect to the Internet are multiplying, so the high energy consumption generated by the Wi-Fi system is a problem. That is why a group of young electrical engineers from the University of Washington have devised a new system that consumes 10,000 less electricity than traditional Wi-Fi, which they have come to call Passive Wi-Fi or Passive Wi-Fi.

The Wi-Fi we know requires two radios communicating with each other, and discerning the signal from the noise consumes a lot of power. In Passive Wi-Fi, only the router emits a radio signal, and that signal is transmitted to enabled devices through a passive sensor that consumes almost no energy. The sensor picks up the Wi-Fi signal and transmits it readably to all devices with Wi-Fi chipsets.

It’s a lab technology for now, but if successful, it could increase the number of devices connected to the network, as it’s close to overturning previous power restrictions on making a device Wi-Fi compatible.