• A Custom Innovator of Supercapacitors & Associated Technologies
    Optixtal, Inc.
    Leading efforts to provide alternatives to batteries and extend battery life and performance.

Our Latest Thoughts

Towards a Smarter and Sustainable Planet

What is the most dangerous part in a car? The majority opinion is the “nut behind the wheel”. In this case, the trend towards cars that drive themselves (the so-called smart cars) makes immense sense. Think about this: Whether they are smart cars, bridges and roads that monitor their own health (smart infrastructure), or buildings that reduce energy (smart buildings), all of them require sensors that measure a whole host of things. How are you going to power these soon-to-be trillions of sensors? Obviously, wiring them is not an option and neither is using batteries. Imagine replacing billions of dead batteries at periodic intervals! On the other hand, one way is for the power to be self-sustaining, just like the technology that requires its use. A vibration here, little light there, or maybe a hot/cold interface somewhere is just about enough to do a few things: power the sensor to measure something and then send the data wirelessly into a receiver or perhaps into the cloud for further action. For instance, let us consider the market’s recent interest in charging cars wirelessly as referenced in this article. Electric vehicle manufacturers are beginning to show an increased sense of enthusiasm as they begin to ponder upon the idea of charging EVs without having to even plug the car into a device. This is an idea that is not so new to us at Optixtal! In the same way that cell phones and wireless networks changed the face of communication, we believe that our supercapacitors, coupled with dynamic wireless charging, can revolutionize transportation. What makes our concept even more unique is that we propose using supercapacitors to charge EVs while they are in motion, an idea vastly contrary to the one mentioned in the article. In essence, this concept combines technology and imagination to help deliver a lighter, greener, and safer car. At Optixtal, we envision creating power storage components with the right geometry, flexibility, and electrical properties to sustain sensors for a long time to make possible the first steps towards a green world. More power to you!

Powering the IoT – An Innovator’s Perspective

Nearly every day we get multiple emails about breaking news, breakthroughs, webinars, or announcements regarding developments in the Internet of Things (IoT). Not all emails use the term IoT, although most do. In fact, Prof. Lee at Stanford even goes further than this and calls it “The Internet of Everything”. Others use terms such as M2M (machine to machine), wearables, and structural health monitoring, etc. As an innovator in what I believe will be the critical component for powering a subset of IoT, I have been asked by many to define what IoT is, where I see it evolving and our role in it. Therefore, I will attempt to answer the above. So what exactly is IoT? Broadly speaking, IoT is a catchall phrase that includes the ability of devices, machines, and infrastructure (think roads, buildings, and bridges) to measure something (sense), send it to a manager (maybe a machine or a human) to take a decision, and then take a specific action (actuate). In other words, there are 4 critical steps in a successful IoT platform: sensing, data communication, decision protocol, and actuation. What are good examples of IoT in practice? Sensing that you are running low on milk in your fridge, your garage door did not close properly, your heart rate is 20% higher on today’s jog, etc. Communicating this data (most probably) wirelessly to another unit, either nearby or far away to a manager for taking action. The manager then makes a decision deciding to send a text to you to buy milk, send a text to you that the garage door will attempt to close itself, or send a query to your healthcare provider with the latest data. The final step is actuation: powering the circuitry to send the text or turning on the motor circuitry to shut the garage door. The question we think about nearly every day is this: How do we power the IoT?