Inter-Technology Backscatter: Towards Internet Connectivity for Implanted Devices
We introduce inter-technology backscatter, a novel approach that transforms wireless transmissions from one technology to another, on the air. Specifically, we show for the first time that Bluetooth transmissions can be used to create Wi-Fi and ZigBee-compatible signals using backscatter communication. Since Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and ZigBee radios are widely available, this approach enables a backscatter design that works using only commodity devices.
We build prototype backscatter hardware using an FPGA and experiment with various Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ZigBee devices. Our experiments show we can create 2–11 Mbps Wi-Fi standards-compliant signals by backscattering Bluetooth transmissions. To show the generality of our approach, we also demonstrate generation of standards-complaint ZigBee signals by backscattering Bluetooth transmissions. Finally, we build proof-of-concepts for previously infeasible applications including the first contact lens form-factor antenna prototype and an implantable neural recording interface that communicate directly with commodity devices such as smartphones and watches, thus enabling the vision of Internet connected implanted devices.
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