Enabling Practical Backscatter Communication for On-body Sensors
Proceedings of the 2016 conference on ACM SIGCOMM 2016 Conference - SIGCOMM '16
In this paper, we look at making backscatter practical for ultra-low power on-body sensors by leveraging radios on existing smartphones and wearables (e.g. WiFi and Bluetooth). The difficulty lies in the fact that in order to extract the weak backscattered signal, the system needs to deal with self interference from the wireless carrier (WiFi or Bluetooth) without relying on built-in capability to cancel or reject the carrier interference. Frequency-shifted backscatter (or FS-Backscatter) is
... ed on a novel idea -the backscatter tag shifts the carrier signal to an adjacent non-overlapping frequency band (i.e. adjacent WiFi or Bluetooth band) and isolates the spectrum of the backscattered signal from the spectrum of the primary signal to enable more robust decoding. We show that this enables communication of up to 4.8 meters using commercial WiFi and Bluetooth radios as the carrier generator and receiver. We also show that we can support a range of bitrates using packet-level and bit-level decoding methods. We build on this idea and show that we can also leverage multiple radios typically present on mobile and wearable devices to construct multi-carrier or multi-receiver scenarios to improve robustness. Finally, we also address the problem of designing an ultra-low power tag that can frequency shift by 20MHz while consuming tens of micro-watts. Our results show that FS-Backscatter is practical in typical mobile and static on-body sensing scenarios while only using commodity radios and antennas.