Drayson Technologies has released new reference designs for its Freevolt radio frequency (RF) energy harvesting system. The Freevolt solution is intended for use in biometric smart cards, and powers those cards with energy extracted from a standard RF card reader.
The new reference designs will make it much easier for card manufacturers to integrate Freevolt into the body of their cards, delivering a “Plug-n-Play” utility that minimizes the amount of customization needed to support different applications. The technology can be used in virtually any biometric card, including those designed for payments, health passports, and access control.
The actual reference designs, meanwhile, were developed over the course of six months with £112,000 in Smart Grant funding from Innovate UK. In the process, Drayson began work on a new biometric card design that pairs Freevolt with a more efficient RF switching mechanism and a new capacitor-bank-on-card storage element. The company has also filed several new patent applications based on technologies that were developed for the project.
The third-generation Freevolt can generate three times as much power as previous iterations of the platform, providing the energy needed to sustain more power-intensive applications. Most notably, a Freevolt card can store and process biometric data directly on the card itself to give users more privacy than they would have if that information were stored on separate server.
“We are very pleased with the results of our first Innovate UK project,” said Drayson Technologies Chairman Paul Drayson. “After six months of work, we have two new baseline designs ready to use and have also created a whole host of new IP, further enabling us to support the development of fully integrated biometric smart cards with advanced features.”
The Freevolt reference design is one of several projects that Innovate UK has backed in the past few months. The organization has been particularly interested in immunity credentials. FinGo received a grant for a credential that relies on finger vein biometrics, while iProov and Mvine received one for a credential that leverages facial recognition.
June 3, 2021 – by Eric Weiss