Since I bought my first mobile phone nine years ago, I’ve been a customer of three of the four major phone carriers in the United States – T-Mobile, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and Sprint (NYSE: S). And I’ve never had an issue finding a cell signal inside most buildings.
But after recently rejoining Verizon following two happy years with T-Mobile, my luck has run out.
Ever since I switched over in December, maintaining a strong voice signal has become a chore in my office and at home. Both of which I had zero problems with when I was on T-Mobile.
Of course, Verizon hasn’t provided any solid explanation on the matter. Very soon, though – thanks to Utah-based, ChamTech Enterprises’ breakthrough technology – I might not need any response.
Superior Antennas… Sprayed From a Can
ChamTech has developed a “Spray-on Antenna System.” It’s essentially a spray paint-like material made of thousands of nano capacitors, which are capable of boosting a device’s signal strength.
I know, I know. Maximizing a wireless signal with a simple spray-on material sounds a bit far-fetched. But as PhysOrg’s Nancy Owano points out, the technology has been in the works for over a decade.
“In 2001, researchers were studying materials that could be used to spray radio antennas onto surfaces… [to allow] military commanders and relief workers to set up communications networks quickly… The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was said to be considering a number of possible applications and techniques for [the technology].”
So ChamTech might not be the first company to test the technology. But based on its product’s results, it’s certainly ahead of the curve…
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And while the company didn’t reveal too much regarding exactly how it works, the basic idea is that once the spray is applied to a communications device – like a mobile phone or radio – the particles instantly “align” in a way that augments the signal’s transmission strength considerably.
For instance, according to the company’s CEO, Anthony Sutera, a recent test for the government showed that its spray-on antenna was able to transmit a signal that was “an order of magnitude” better than the one being transmitted using current technology.
In another test, they were able to boost an airplane’s communication and data transmission by 300%, just by painting the material on a few pieces of tape and attaching it to the aircraft’s radio.
Sutera also described how the company was able to paint the material on a tree and transmit a signal to an airplane flying overhead. And the signal’s range was two times greater than a standard radio.
What’s more, it’s doesn’t just have military and industrial uses – ChamTech’s antenna spray has applications for the average consumer, too.
For instance, The Wall Street Journal reports:
“Sutera and Spencer have coated their family cars’ antennas with ChamTech as a sort of retrofit. They can now listen to Salt Lake City’s best radio stations some 50 miles outside the city, with 10,000-foot mountains in between.”
Eventually, the company is envisioning ways that this technology can “enable wireless connectivity anywhere.” So in the near future, it could be used to magnify the Wi-Fi signal through your home, making it the perfect solution for those waiting for white spaces to open up in their area.
And most importantly, Sutera mentioned that it was able to boost the signal strength of an iPhone, too. Which means, perhaps soon, we’ll be able to simply spray the internal components of our mobile devices and never have to worry about weak reception ever again.
In a wired world, ChamTech’s spray could be a real godsend.
I couldn’t be more hopeful! But ‘til then…