Innovative New Wireless Antenna is Dramatically Smaller
Researchers at Northeastern University have demonstrated a new type of radio antenna that operates in the frequencies used for some cellular networks and Wi-Fi, but is up to 100 times smaller than current antenna designs. The new antenna can be manufactured on a single chip approximately 1mm across. It receives radio signals by first converting radio waves to acoustic waves, then to electrical signals, and the same in reverse for transmitting. The existing method of converting directly between radio and electrical signals requires an antenna with a physical length 1/10 the radio wavelength. The new technique uses the properties of acoustic waves to permit an antenna made of a piezomagnetic membrane that's just 1/1000 the physical length of the radio wavelength. The piezomagnetic material is joined with a piezoelectric material to create the necessary electrical link. The technology could shrink the size of phones and wearables. It may also open up lower frequencies — which today require antennas too large to carry around — to mobile devices.
Apple Refreshes the Apple Watch with LTE
Apple today updated its smartwatch with several new features. Notably, the Apple Watch Series 3 gains an optional LTE radio for connections when phones aren't around or available.
LG to Enable FM Radio In All Phones Moving Forward
LG today said it will ensure that all its future smartphones ship with active FM radios. Sometimes LG and/or its carrier partners leave FM radios, included in nearly all phones, inert.
WeBoost, SureCall Roll Out In-Home Signal Boosters
WeBoost and SureCall both used CES as an opportunity to show off new cell signal boosters. Both products work in a similar fashion: they collect cell signals from nearby cell towers, amplify them, and rebroadcast them within the home to improve coverage and signal strength.