Realizing Ambient Backscatter Communications with Intelligent Surfaces in 6G Wireless Systems

Christos Liaskos, Ageliki Tsioliaridou, Sotiris Ioannidis, Andreas Pitsillides, Ian F. Akyildiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This article studies the prospects of combining two promising wireless technologies for 6G wireless systems, namely ambient backscatter communications and Programmable Wireless Environments (PWEs). Ambient backscattering carries the promise of battery-less and perpetually operating IoT devices that 'surf' ambient electromagnetic waves rather than generating new ones. The technology, however, suffers from unstable performance owing to the natural incoherence of ambient waves. On the other hand, PWEs constitute a system to control intelligent surfaces in order to convert a wireless channel into a software-defined and slice-able resource. This article proposes the use of PWEs to stabilize ambient backscattering communication links. It is shown that it is possible to 'outsource' functionalities such as medium access control from the device hardware to the intelligent wireless environment, thereby simplifying the backscattering device hardware. Further, a future research direction is presented where intelligent environments can be built via mass deployments of miniaturized ambient backscattering cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-185
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Wireless Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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