Drayson Technologies Develops Next Generation Biometric Smart Cards Powered By Freevolt Energy Harvesting

Innovate UK funded project enabled Drayson Technologies to develop “Plug-n-Play” reference designs of its Freevolt™ radio frequency energy harvesting technology, delivering 3x more power for biometric smart card applications in secure access, cryptocurrency, healthcare and finance.

Drayson Technologies today announces the completion its Smart Grant project, funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. During the 6-month project, the business received over £112,000 of funding in order to develop “Plug-n-Play” reference designs of its Freevolt™ proprietary radio frequency (RF) energy harvesting technology for smart card applications in secure access, cryptocurrency, healthcare and finance.

The Innovate UK project enabled the Drayson Technologies team to take the latest Freevolt Generation 3 solution and develop a set of standardised reference designs which integrators can use. This gives significantly reduced integration times and minimises bespoke work across multiple applications, further cementing the Company’s technology leadership position in the field of RF energy harvesting to power biometric smart cards. Furthermore, the output from this project has enabled Drayson Technologies to begin development of a new in-house design for biometric smart cards that combines third generation Freevolt technology with a novel adaptive capacitor-bank-on-card storage element (which was developed as part of the Innovate UK project), as well as a high-efficiency RF communications switching mechanism. This has unlocked new potential applications in the secure access and cryptocurrency verticals.

This R&D work not only improved energy harvesting efficiency and system designs, but has also generated new novel inventions, leading to new patent applications. The Company now owns 21 granted patents internationally within a portfolio of 17 patent families protecting the Freevolt technology and associated system blocks relevant for biometric smart card applications.

Lord (Paul) Drayson PhD FREng Chairman of Drayson Technologies said:
“We are very pleased with the results of our first InnovateUK project. The main goal was better standardisation of our biometric smart card energy harvesting technology, creating optimised, ready-to-use designs. This makes it easier for biometric smart card integrators to adopt and use Freevolt RF energy harvesting. After 6 months of work, we have 2 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. We are now seeing new commercial applications in cryptocurrency wallets, health passports and security access. We would like to thank Innovate UK and UKRI for their support throughout this project.”

Following almost a decade of development, the main benefit of Drayson Technologies’ Freevolt RF energy harvesting technology is to provide the additional energy needed to power advanced processing and security capabilities for the latest generation of contactless biometric smart cards. This uses energy harvested directly from the card reader, without requiring changes to the existing card reader infrastructure. With 3x energy harvesting performance over competing technologies, Freevolt enables greater functionality to be built into the card, such as greater processing power to run enhanced security systems or larger, more secure, data stores.

The higher energy harvesting efficiency enables highly personal biometric data to be stored securely on the card, and not in central server databases, such as required by competing systems, which may make them vulnerable to hackers. This also addresses current privacy and GDPR concerns surrounding ID cards that use personal biometric data, such as vaccine passports, allowing users to control and retain possession of their private data.

About Drayson Technologies & Freevolt
Drayson Technologies is a UK technology company developing Freevolt energy harvesting solutions that convert radio frequency (RF) energy into usable direct current. Freevolt is an award-winning suite of proprietary, patented, and patent-pending technologies that recycle and harvest RF energy from radio transmission networks (NFC, cellular, Wi-Fi, etc.) in order to power electrical devices such as smart cards, sensors, and wearables. Biometric smart cards are the lead commercial application.

Drayson Technologies’ mission is to enable advanced smart cards that feature fraud protection and improved security without any impact on existing infrastructure or user experience.

Drayson Technologies is based in London, UK with a team of international engineers bringing a wealth of experience in RF energy harvesting and associated power and control technologies.

For more information, please visit: www.getfreevolt.com.

About Innovate UK
Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas.

We connect businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn ideas into commercially successful products and services and business growth.

We fund business and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investment into R&D. Our support is available to businesses across all economic sectors, value chains and UK regions.

Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation. For more information visit www.innovateuk.ukri.org.