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The vision of Internet of Things calls for connectivity not only to consumer electronics and home appliances, but also to small battery powered devices which cannot be recharged. Such small devices, often various types of sensors and actuators, are required to sustain reliable operation for years on batteries even in the presence of heavy interference. The IEEE 802.11 standard has established itself as one of the most popular wireless technologies offering connectivity. Using commercially available chips, we demonstrate the feasibility of low-power Wi-Fi technology to enable IP connectivity of battery powered devices. Three typical sensor application scenarios are investigated. We evaluate the power consumption of Wi-Fi enabled devices for each of the scenarios, investigate the impact of interference, and measure the range performance.
Date of Publication: June 2012