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‘Smart wallpaper’ that can increase the WiFi signal in your home up to ten times

MIT researchers have developed a “smart wallpaper” that can increase the WiFi signal in your home up to ten times and allow even smaller devices connected to the Internet.

  • The ‘smart surface’ can be painted on a special wallpaper that is placed in a house
  • It does not require power or wiring to work, as it only reflects signals
  • You can increase wireless signals 10 times and double the capacity in an office
  • It will allow the devices to become smaller without compromising the signal strength.

MIT researchers have developed a “smart wallpaper” that can increase the WiFi signal in your home up to ten times and allow even smaller devices connected to the Internet.

A team of researchers from the MIT Laboratory of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence found a way to create a surface that can reflect and improve wireless signals.

They say this means that you can add WiFi to devices that are currently too small to make it viable, or make exciting devices “more elegant.”

According to the study authors, this could allow small sensors to detect indoor pollution levels, smaller smart speakers or even ‘biomedical devices’.

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MIT researchers have developed a “smart wallpaper” that can increase the WiFi signal in your home up to ten times and allow even smaller devices connected to the Internet.

The problem with smarter and smaller technology is that smaller devices have smaller wireless antennas that struggle to maintain a good signal.

The MIT CSAIL research team developed an ‘intelligent surface’ RFOcus that can be installed as wallpaper in a house or office.

It does not require power or wiring, as it simply acts as a ‘reflection’ of the signal emitted by other devices.

By using the ‘smart wallpaper’, a device can act as a ‘control’, sending a signal of lower power on the wall; then it reflects and disperses it where necessary.

It can improve the average signal strength by almost 10 times and the dual channel capacity in an office environment.

The technology uses software to control thousands of small wireless antennas built into the smart surface.

“The main objective here was to explore whether we can use elements in the environment and organize them to direct the signal in a way we can control,” said lead study author Hari Balakrishnan. VentureBeat.

“If you want to have wireless devices that transmit at the lowest possible power, but give you a good signal, this seems to be an extremely promising way to do it.”

The 2D RFocus surface can take signals and reflect them to the desired location, even from a low power or low signal device, such as a sensor

The 2D RFocus surface can take signals and reflect them to the desired location, even from a low power or low signal device, such as a sensor

The 2D RFocus surface can take signals and reflect them to the desired location, even from a low power or low signal device, such as a sensor

The authors say that an example of its use could be in a warehouse to connect hundreds of sensors to monitor machines and inventories.

WHAT IS THE INTERNET OF THINGS?

Although the term “Internet of things” (IoT) first appeared in 2005, there is still no widely accepted definition.

IoT includes gadgets purchased by consumers, as well as products and services designed for companies to help machines “communicate” with each other.

For example, the term IoT may include radio frequency identification (RFID) tags that companies place on products in stores to track their inventory, or sensors that monitor the use of electricity in hotels.

It costs a few pence per antenna and, since they do not require wiring or power, the smart wallpaper would be ‘very cheap to produce at scale’.

“The biggest challenge was determining how to configure the antennas to maximize the signal strength without using additional sensors, since the signals we measure are very weak,” says PhD student Venkat Arun.

Arun and his team were able to write software that controlled the antenna and pointed the signal where it should go.

It is very early for the new technology, which is still in the development stage. In the longer term it is expected to provide a way to increase WiFi and even 5G signals.

Research work is available in the open access library. arxiv.org.

HOW DOES THE WIRELESS CHARGE WORK?

Wireless charging as a concept has existed since Nikola Tesla, a Croatian inventor, first suggested in the 19th century that he could transfer energy between two objects through an electromagnetic field.

The loading platform contains a loop of wires wrapped around a bar magnet, known as an inductor.

When an electric current passes from the electrical network through the spiral cable, it creates an electromagnetic field around the magnet.

This can be used to transfer a voltage, or charge, to the smartphone.

It is rumored that Apple is working on a charging system that will operate at 7.5 watts.

That means it won’t offer faster charging speeds than conventional chargers, which offer 15 watts as standard.

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