Do you experience poor signal strength or slow data transfers when using Wifi? Engineers at the University of California San Diego might just make all that a thing of the past, as they have developed a “smart surface”. In testing, the smart surface extended WiFi range from 98 feet to 147 feet, as well as, doubled its speed.
This surface is a 4″ x 12″ printed circuit board containing 48 small antennas. These antennas combine incoming WiFi signals from a router to create an entirely new path for signals to travel. This new path is just as strong as the original coming from the router. This technology also creates a second data stream that goes to your connected Wifi device. Not only do you get a connection in areas where you could not before, but you also get double the data rate where you already have connectivity.
This technology has a couple unique benefits, one is it’s extremely power efficient, it can last up to a year on a coin cell battery. Second is the technology can be mass-produced for $5 each.
In future studies, the researchers plan to combine multiple smart surfaces to see if they could possibly triple or even quadruple data rates and range.