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Scientists create "smart" surface that promises to increase the received Wi-Fi signal tenfold

Electronic devices have become increasingly portable over time. However, the decrease in its dimensions presents a problem, especially if the equipment is connected to the Internet. Getting a good connection to a Wi-Fi signal becomes more complicated when there is not enough space for the large-capacity antennas inside.

A team of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT) has found a way around the problem. Researchers have developed an "intelligent surface that can magnify the Wi-Fi signal captured by a device tenfold.

Surface Credits: MIT CSAIL

RFocus consists of a rectangular surface covered by about 3,000 small antennas. According to the study published by its creators, Venkat Arun and Hari Balakrishnan, the combination of multiple antennas with specially developed software allows to optimize the reception of Wi-Fi signal in a more economical and sustainable way, since the surface consumes a lot less energy than conventional signal amplification systems.

How RFocus works According to the scientists, the antennas present in RFocus allow not only the passage of the Wi-Fi signal, but also its reflection, expanding it ten times more. Credits: MIT CSAIL

For now, RFocus is in an experimental phase, and is still far from being commercialized. However, its creators foresee that the surface can be installed as a kind of technologically advanced wallpaper in different types of spaces.

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