In order to generate the most rapid, reliable, and robust outputs, AI systems require a massive amount of high-quality data. Capturing these data points in real-time can only be achieved through a ubiquitous mesh of diverse, reliable sensors operating the entire way from LAN to the edge. It would be ideal to place sensors at every doorway, lamp post, bus stop, and computer desk, but there remains the singular factor that stands in the way of expansion of these networks: the availability and reliability of dependable, flexible, and scalable power.
A microcosm example is in a warehouse setting, where monitoring humidity and temperature every meter in height of a shelving unit would be necessary to support an AI system designed to reduce damaged inventory costs for items that are affected by these two factors. Monitoring the temperature and humidity at 1-meter increments from floor level to the top of the shelving unit means that the system will be able to tell users which products can be placed on which shelves during which seasons, and alert warehouse personnel or inventory selection robots when readings exceed specified thresholds. Additionally, energy efficiency could be significantly improved by automating heating and cooling systems using the same sensor data. Here is the problem in this hypothetical: how much will it cost to run power cables to thousands of sensors? How much would it cost in batteries and battery upkeep if that were the preferred option? Do those costs outweigh the losses the warehouse is currently incurring in damaged inventory? Batteries and wires, while dependable, fail to deliver on flexibility and scalability. So how do we drive the IoT that AI so desperately needs?
The answer to this hurdle is simple: wireless power. Radio frequency-based wireless charging solutions eliminate the high infrastructure costs needed to implement data-hungry sensor networks to feed the growing demand for AI solutions. One power transmitter can power an entire shelf of devices or more, and it will keep sensors operating perpetually. Existing RFID readers that are present throughout warehouse facilities can even be utilized as wireless power transmitters, meaning that hardware infrastructure cost could be as little as just the cost of the sensor devices themselves.
The massive amount of data required for AI deployments to be successful can only be supported by a rapidly expanding network of sensors, and wires and batteries are simply not economically or environmentally sustainable. Utilizing RF-based wireless power allows for free placement of sensors anywhere in the field of power created by a power transmitter, making installation of new sensor devices simple. Progress in AI will not be made while we are still tied down by traditional power cables and limited capacity batteries. AI systems hold enormous promise to deliver better outcomes across every sector of our economy, but we need a power infrastructure to support that expansion. RF wireless power holds the key to deploying dependable, flexible, and scalable AI systems in all of our public and commercial spaces.