Feeds

SPRAY-ON antennas waved about at Google's techfest

Turning the world into an aerial

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Presenting at the new Google-backed talk fest "Solve for X", ChamTech Operations showed its nano tech-based antenna in a spray can, turning trees into antennas and connecting submarines by radio.

The technology is easy to explain, but rather harder to realise. It comes in a aerosol with which one sprays nano-capacitors – onto a tree, pole or something shaped similarly – to turn an upright body into a radio antenna. Apply the nano-tech coating to an existing antenna and it will extend the range by 100 times, stick it underwater and you can send a radio signal over a mile.

ChamTech's CEO presented the concept at Google's TED-competitor. His hyperbolic assertions contrasted with a monochromic delivery style, but get two minutes thirty secs into the video and you can see a tree being used as a radio antenna.

ChamTech's assertion is that existing antennas generate heat, which is wasted energy, though the presenter's implication that they haven't evolved at all over the last 100 years is rather disingenuous. Radio antennas have evolved markedly, and there's still constant innovation in antenna design, even if much of it is conducted on a trial-and-error basis.

What is unclear from the presentation is how the size of the antenna is managed - radio aerials have a size related to the size (frequency) of the radio signal they are trying to receive (or transmit). To pick up Radio 4 (at 94MHz) one should, ideally, have an antenna a shade over three metres long. That's a little cumbersome, so we generally use fractions, and adjust the length of the antenna to pick up different frequencies.

But even if one has to measure the sprayed area accurately, the idea still has huge potential, and if used to cover an existing antenna the size is already perfect.

When applied to the antenna of an RFID tag (Seven minutes into the video) the coating apparently boosted the range from one-and-a-half meters to over 200m, and while applying a layer to antennas used for undersea communications (which is very limited in range as radio doesn't really penetrate water, even at 50MHz) it pushed the range from 30 meters to more than 1.6km (1 mile), which has huge implications for notoriously difficult submarine communications.

Clearly the technology has huge potential, if only as a coating to reduce the power consumption of existing antennas. Promises of self-powered base stations and more efficient electric motors might be excessive, but we'd settle for radio masts with 100 times the range. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?