Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have designed a prototype "smart surface" that can concentrate wireless radio signals to maximize reception.
The RFocus device has more than 3,000 minuscule antennas arranged by software into optimal receptive configurations, with control enabled via central beamforming rather than through transmitters and client devices. RFocus can improve signal strength nearly 10-fold without any signal amplification, and could potentially strengthen longer-ranged connections for Wi-Fi as well as high-band 5G.
The CSAIL researchers hope to find a way to produce the smart surface at scale, preferably as a thin, wireless "wallpaper."
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA
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