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SkinnySensor: Enabling Battery-Less Wearable Sensors Via Intrabody Power Transfer

Abstract
Tremendousadvancement inultra-low powerelectronics and radiocommunica tionshas significantly contributed towards the fabrication of miniaturized biomedical sensors capable of capturing physiological data and transmitting them wirelessly. However, most of the wearable sensors require a battery for their operation. The battery serves as one of the critical bottlenecks to the development of novel wearable applications, as the limitations offered by batteries are affecting the development of new form-factors and longevity of wearable devices. In this work, we introduce a novel concept, namely Intra-Body Power Transfer (IBPT), to alleviate the limitations and problems associated with batteries, and enable wireless, batteryless wearable devices. The innovation of IBPT is to utilize the human body as the medium to transfer power to passive wearable devices, as opposed to employingon-boardbatteries for each individual device. The proposed platform eliminates the on-board rigid battery for ultra-low power and ultra-miniaturized sensors such that their form-factor can be flexible, ergonomically designed to be placed on small body parts. The platform also eliminates the need for battery maintenance (e.g., recharging or replacement) for multiple wearable devices other than the central power source. The performance of the developed system is tested and evaluated in comparison to traditional Radio Frequency based solutions that can be harmful to human interaction. The system developed is capable of harvesting on average 217µW at 0.43V and provides an average sleep/high impedance mode voltage of 4.5V.
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