PsiKick, a US startup that has developed batteryless wireless technology for IoT applications, makes the point that, if there are one trillion things connected to the internet somebody will have to be changing batteries 275 million times every day.
Mathematically that might be correct, but it’s rather misleading: many of those trillion things will be passive sensors and many of the things requiring power will be able to get it from the grid. Nevertheless, the company does have a point: changing batteries could become a big cost component in the everything-connected future.
PsiKick has just announced a $US16.5m Series B financing, led by Osage University Partners and joined by existing investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA), the University of Michigan Investment in New Technologies Fund (MINTS) and a number of individuals. It brings the company’s total funding to over $US22m.
PsiKick was launched in 2012 with technology licensed from the universities of Michigan, Virginia and Washington. It has developed wireless technology to connect passive IoT sensors into a wider network that it claims requires only one thousandth the power or conventional technologies, yet is able to deliver data rates up to Mbps and communication over distances in excess of 1km.
This has been coupled with ‘energy harvesting technologies’ able to generate electricity from a variety of ambient sources: “indoor and outdoor solar, thermal gradients, RF, vibration and more.” The devise is able to store and manage energy for reliable operation across varying environmental conditions. In short it is able to provide the communications link to passive IoT sensors indefinitely, without any specific power source.
A Forbes Article on the company published in September 2014 said “Based on PsiKick’s road map, the first chips will be in the marketplace by mid next year.” However the announcement of its Series B funding gave no indication that products were available, or when they might be launched.