Remember EnOcean's batteryless / wireless light switches on display last year? Don't sweat it, neither did we. Still, that hasn't stopped EnOcean from experimenting with battery-less sensors which harvest electricity from vibrations (pictured) and temperature differentials. According to EnOcean, their prototype thermal-differential sensor attached to say, a water pipe, can harvest up to 50-milliwatts as long as one surface is 3-degrees Celsius higher or lower than the immediate environment. While that pales in compaison to batteries, it's still enough power to transmit a tweaked RF signal as far as 300-meters in an open warehouse or 30-meters through walls. Nearby sensors can also act as relays to extend signal transmission. Link the sensors with a thermostat and you can create micro-climates around the home; link 'em to a home automation system and control your house without the need to run power and Cat 5 / WiFi everywhere. Now someone get those X10
spammers home automators on the horn, we smell a business op.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.