A new wave of technology development lets devices communicate with each other using TV and Wi-Fi signals. And they don't need batteries.

Developed by a team of researchers from the University of Washington, the new communication technique doesn't require any human attention. Known as "ambient backscatter", it creates a network out of thin air and it can go anwhere.

"We can repurpose wireless signals that are already around us into both a source of power and a communication medium," explains lead researcher Shyam Gollakota. "It's hopefully going to have applications in a number of areas including wearable computing, smart homes and self-sustaining sensor networks."

The battery free sensors can be installed on a keychain for example, to communicate with your smartphone. So in any case you lose them, your smartphone will get a text message when you lose it. PhysOrg says,  "It could be configured so that when the battery dies, the phone could still send text messages by leveraging power from an ambient TV signal."

Researchers also explain one use case where sensors can be installed in the walls of buildings and alert if the building has any cracks or breaks in structural integrity. The same can be applied to bridges, car parts and anything else.

Check out a video of it below: [PhysOrg]