In the always-connected workplace, keeping devices powered and ready for use is not just important, but critical—a dead battery is not just a hassle to replace, but can often create new problems in hardware, as well. And for IoT devices on construction sites, for instance, poor battery life in wearable sensors could be a safety hazard, as well.
A new partnership, announced on Wednesday, hopes to bring the dream of a single-battery future closer to reality. Atmosic Technologies, which specializes in low-power Wi-Fi tech for IoT devices, is partnering with SMK Electronics, which produces OEM electronics. Together, the team says it will harness Atmosic's M3 system-on-chip (SoC) to bring so-called forever battery life to SMK's IoT devices.
According to a news release, the new SMK products will be available to purchase in Q4 2020, in the US and Japan, and several Asian markets.
These devices, including remote controls, sensors, and other IoT hardware, will use Atmosic's managed energy harvesting, plus the company's lowest power radio and on-demand wake-up receiver, according to the press release.
The team also plans to develop an IoT module that it can integrate with the Atmosic M2 SoC for industrial and commercial IoT applications, the press release states.
Atmosic touts itself as the only producer of Bluetooth low energy and energy harvesting in an integrated SoC, which, according to the release, "reduces the overall bill of materials while enabling storage and sourcing of energy from radio frequency (RF), photovoltaic, thermal or mechanical sources."
Battery tech is already a $66 billion industry, and tech companies are pouring resources into developing the right IoT products—both in terms of wearability and power sustainability—and the ones that will rise to the top are small and flexible.
Joe Otsuka, SMK's GM of sales, said the partnership is a natural evolution in the race for beefing up IoT devices with increased battery life, which could "help eliminate the use of millions of batteries, marking a significant step forward in ending the era of battery dependence."
"One of the major challenges for IoT adoption continues to be the cost and hassle of battery replacement," said Alex Davies of Rethink Research. "There is a strong market demand for BLE products with integrated energy harvesting technology to solve the customer experience headache of having to change batteries in dozens to hundreds of smart home devices such as remotes and other types of connected devices used in consumer products."For more information about the features of Atmosic's M2 and M3 series, please stay tuned.