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A clever way to transmit data on the cheap

  • Thu, 14 Sep 2017 13:42

THE word “smart” is ubiquitous these days. If you believe the hype, smart farms will all employ sensors to report soil conditions, crop growth or the health of livestock. Smart cities will monitor the levels of pollution and noise on every street corner. And goods in smart warehouses will tell robots where to store them, and how. Getting this to work, however, requires figuring out how to get thousands of sensors to transmit data reliably across hundreds of metres. On September 15th, at a computing conference held in Miami, Shyam Gollakota and his colleagues at the University of Washington are due to unveil a gadget that can do exactly that—and with only a fraction of the power required by the best devices currently available.

Dr Gollakota’s invention uses a technology called LoRa. Like Wi-Fi, this allows computers to talk to each other with radio waves. Unlike Wi-Fi, though, LoRa is not easily blocked by walls, furniture and other obstacles. That is partly because LoRa...Continue reading Science and technology

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