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MIT's “smart surface” can improve Wi-Fi signal

The "smart surface" is a card with small antennas that have low cost and great potential to reinforce the wireless signal

Researchers from MIT CSAIL have developed a ?smart surface? that can be a solution to one of the big problems of our ?wireless era?: the effort that some small devices need to make to maintain a good Wi-Fi signal when there is so little space for positioning antennas. We here Showmetech we will tell you more about this news.

A smart surface for amplifying Wi-Fi

Scientists have created a smart surface (Smart Surface, in free translation) called RFocus, which, according to them, can function both as a mirror and as a lens to focus radio signals on the right devices on both sides of this "screen". This improves the intensity of the median signal by almost 10 times, in addition to doubling the capacity of the median channel in an office environment.

Instead of just a few stationary antennas, the RFocus prototype has more than 3,000 tiny antennas with software that organizes them to maximize signal reception. In other words, RFocus is acting as a beam-forming controller in the middle, instead of allowing radio terminals – transmitters and client devices – to manage this activity, something that would be difficult to implement on tiny devices.

The project leader at The leader of the ?smart surface? project, Venkat Arun, alongside his creation

However, technological gains are not the only advantage behind RFocus' smart surface. The price of the product would also be a great attraction! The expectation is that the matrix will have a low cost, with only a few cents per antenna, and would consume little energy compared to the conventional system.

Despite almost ten times the improvement, RFocus does not actually use signal amplification, which means that the antennas themselves do not emit energy, thus generating a reduced spend power.

Unfortunately, there is still no mention of how long RFocus is expected to be available to be marketed between companies and users. The team would not only have to refine the design, but find a way to produce it on a large scale – ideally in the form of ?cheap, thin wallpaper?, without the need for any type of financing. At least it is already clear to researchers the wide range of uses that the smart surface can have.

The first of the great features of RFocus is its ability to provide stronger, far-reaching connections for all types of mobile technology, from Wi-Fi The 5G high bandwidth. In addition, the smart surface can really show its true technological potential when applied in the context of Internet of Things devices, which are too small to have a wireless link or need some additional component to maintain reliable signals.

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