Powering devices without batteries

2020 visionaries

Shyam Gollakota is designing technology that can power devices and provide Internet connectivity without the need for batteries.

Not only does the "ambient backscatter" work without batteries, but it uses existing TV and Wi-Fi signals to get online.

Meet computer scientist Shyam Gollakota

Gollakota, who is an assistant professor at the University of Washington, said it's also a win for the environment, because it helps communication devices consume less power.

And Gollakota isn't content for his work to just live in academia -- he cofounded startup Jeeva Wireless, which also addresses issues of battery life and connectivity.

First published March 16, 2016: 12:45 PM ET