Vamsi Talla, a recent Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering postdoc and University of Washington Electrical Engineering (UW EE) alumnus, was honored with the 2016 ACM SIGCOMM Doctoral Dissertation Award for his thesis, Power, Communication and Sensing Solutions for Energy Constrained Platforms.
Talla will add this accomplishment next to others, which includes receiving the 2016 ACM SIGMOBILE Doctoral Dissertation Award and WAGS/UMI Outstanding Innovation in Technology Award.
Working under Josh Smith, University of Washington (UW) professor and co-leader of the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering’s (CSNE’s) Communications and Interface research thrust, Talla and his peers discovered how to manipulate low-power sensors and devices to draw energy from televisions and wi-fi radio frequencies, known as Ambient RF signals.
Rather than relying on a battery or circuit board, Talla states in his thesis that this process, known as backscatter communication, “…enables ubiquitous communication where devices can communicate among themselves at unprecedented scales and in locations that were previously inaccessible.”
Recently, the team was able to successfully complete a phone call using ambient backscatter exclusively; a milestone for the future of battery-free devices.
In addition to conducting groundbreaking research, Talla also serves as Chief Technology Officer at Jeeva, a CSNE industry affiliate and wireless company that he co-founded with Smith. One of Jeeva’s primary goals is to allow easier communication between devices, doing so by providing wireless connectivity that uses 10,000 times less power than current wireless systems.