aalto_digitalantenna_www_enOur smartphones are currently packed with all kinds of sensors that can measure all sorts of things. For example there is the accelerometer, there is the gyroscope, some phones even have an altimeter and barometer, then there are also antennas for WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and more. These sensors and antennas are necessary, but they also take up space and consume power.

However over in Finland, researchers at the Aalto University have come up with a digital antenna (via BGR) that could potentially reduce the amount of space that the components take up in the phone, and also reduce the amount of power that the sensors would typically consume.

How does this work? Basically this antenna consists of many smaller components that will be able to adjust itself on the fly to capture the frequency that it needs to. According to Jari-Matti Hannula, a doctoral candidate at the university, “In this way, many smartphone applications like GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will no longer need their own antennas. Instead, all of the phone’s data transfer can take place through one digitally controlled antenna.”

He adds, “This in turn makes phone design easier and enables a larger screen size relative to phone size as the antenna does not require so much space.” Now before you get too excited, it seems that the process of building such an antenna for phones is apparently still years from being made a reality, although the good news is that the team is working with Huawei to test whether or not such a concept has commercial feasibility.

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