A new device known as a rectenna could lead to large-scale adoption of near-field communication (NFC) technology at low cost.
Researchers at Sunchon National University and the Paru Printed Electronics Research Institute have found a way to produce rectennas that cost one cent per unit via newspaper-style printing. The researchers printed the rectenna onto plastic foils in large batches using a roll-to-roll process.
A rectenna is a combination of an antenna and a rectifier, a device that converts alternating current into direct current, and it can harness power directly from radio waves given off by a mobile phone. The device would be placed onto everyday objects such as price tags, logos, and signage so that consumers could read product information by swiping their smartphones.
“What is great about this technique is that we can also print the digital information onto the rectenna, meaning that everything you need for wireless communication is in one place,” says researcher Gyoujin Cho. “Our advantage over current technology is lower cost, since we can produce a roll-to-roll printing process with high throughput in an environmentally friendly manner.”
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