Prototype NEC Wearable Antenna Not As Crazy As This Looks

Wearable Antenna

By Evan Ackerman

Most of you probably don’t live out in the boonies like I do half the year, but if you do, you’re probably just as frustrated as I am about the lack of decent cellular service, not to mention WiFi. You can buy something like this, but it’s expensive, tethered, and somewhat of a monotasker. Today, NEC announced the development of a wideband antenna that’s not only wearable, it’s actually clothing. From the press release:

Antennas are generally designed to operate in an open space, and if used in close proximity to a human body or other object, the impedance deteriorates, causing a noticeable reduction in performance. This antenna is designed to demonstrate equally good impedance characteristics whether used in an open space or close to a human body, for example when attached to the user’s clothing.

One of the difficulties encountered in the past when using conductive fabrics was that soldering was not possible. In the case of this new antenna, power is supplied to a small flexible print substrate by a soldered coaxial cable, so that power supply is possible through capacity coupling with the substrate.

NEC will first test reception of digital terrestrial broadcasts in the 470-770 MHz band. Later, it will test the potential of this antenna as an external antenna for terminals in the future, conducting ongoing development while studying potential future applications.

My overly optimistic impression would be that as soon as NEC gets around to commercializing this technology, you’ll be able to throw on your jacket to improve your cellphone reception… Of course, by that time, our jackets will probably have cellphones and laptops and donut makers built in anyway.

VIA [ Akihabara ]

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