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This is potentially awesome tech that can revolutionize IoT ever more than it is now.  And it looks like it has been created and tested.  Here is the text of the email describing this breakthrough:

The device, which could be mass-produced for a dime a piece, sends data 1.75 miles, through a 41-room office or across a small farm, using 1,000 times less power than other systems. It could be powered by scavenging energy from surroundings…

Why is this important?  Think of placing cheap chips and sensors in everything without them needing power, so they can easily send data.  In consumer products, it opens up huge opportunities, not just in tracking product ingredients/components, but also in product spoilage/decay rates.

I have always had a business idea to revolutionize the direct mail industry by placing cheap chips in the packaging so that the direct mail company will know if their material was opened or dumped in the trash.  This makes it very doable.