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There is a long-standing vision of embedding backscatter nodes like RFIDs into everyday objects to build ultralow power ubiquitous networks. A major problem that has challenged this vision is that backscatter communication is neither reliable nor efficient. Backscatter nodes cannot sense each other, and hence tend to suffer from colliding transmissions. Further, they are ineffective at adapting the bit rate to channel conditions, and thus miss opportunities to increase throughput, or transmit above capacity causing errors. This paper introduces a new approach to backscatter communication. The key idea is to treat all nodes as if they were a single virtual sender.
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