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The Zero-power Communication technology that Oppo issued a white paper on last year is now bearing fruit in the form of an actual Zero-Power Tag prototype device. Oppo is demonstrating its first battery-free tracker based on the zero-power technology at the MWC 2023 expo and we got a chance to preview it in its booth.
The way the tag works is that by “leveraging key technologies such as RF signal harvesting, backscattering, and low-power computing, it harvests radio waves from the surrounding area to power its own functionality and communicate battery-free in order to meet the diverse needs of IoT in the coming 6G era.” Where does the Zero-Power Tag get the energy to do its tracking duties without an autonomous power source like a battery?

The Zero-Power Tag exhibited was in the form of a prototype plastic rectangle with the chip inside, but Oppo told us that it may actually come in the form of a sticker that can be applied anywhere. As one not-so-futuristic use case scenario the tracker could be applied to “endangered birds” to keep tabs (or, rather, tags) on their migratory habits at all times. 

With the Zero-Power Tag, Oppo is envisioning a world where the myriad of IoT devices that are starting to inundate us won’t use as many polluting batteries. Apple’s AirTags, for instance, use coin batteries that last about a year and then have to be tossed, but innovative ideas like Oppo’s Zero-Power Tag could one day prevent millions of batteries from going to the landfills.

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