UMass Amherst professor Deepak Ganesan.

University of Massachusetts Amherst professors introduced a new radio technology that allows small mobile devices to take advantage of battery power in larger devices nearby for communication. The Braidio, or braid of radios, can offload energy to larger devices nearby and, in effect, make both device size and battery consumption proportional to the size of battery.

They embellished Bluetooth with the ability to operate in a similar manner to RFID, which operates asymmetrically. Braidio operates like a standard Bluetooth radio when a device has sufficient energy, but operates like RFID when energy is low, offloading energy use to a device with a larger battery when needed. So, when a smartwatch and smartphone are equipped with Braidios, they can work together to proportionally share the energy consumed for communication.