News Stories

WEAR Your Wi-Fi

The next generation of communications systems could be built with a sewing machine. To make communications devices more reliable, researchers are finding ways to incorporate radio antennas directly into clothing, using plastic film and metallic thread. And you'll be able to POWER your phone and other hand-held devices with your SHOES, just by walking (And Anne Strieber's famous diet book has a special chapter on exercise titled "The Tyranny of the Body," in which she states unequivocally that walking is the very best exercise there is).

Engineer Tom Krupenkin says, "Humans, generally speaking, are very powerful energy-producing machines. While sprinting, a person can produce as much as a kilowatt of power." Even though energy harvesting is unlikely to completely replace batteries in the majority of mobile applications, researchers believe it can play a key role in reducing cost, pollution and other problems associated with battery use.

Meanwhile, what about those wired clothes? Engineer John Volakis says, "Imagine a vest or shirt, or even a fancy ball gown, made with this technology. The antennas would be inconspicuous, and even attractive. People would want to wear them." A communications system that is wired into our clothes could send and receive signals in all directions, even through walls and inside a building, without a need for the wearer to carry an external antenna. Engineer Chi-Chih Chen says, "Our primary goal is to improve communications reliability and the mobility of the soldiers, but the same technology could work for police officers, fire fighters, astronauts--anybody who needs to keep their hands free for important work."

It's going to be an amazing future all right, and one thing we know is coming in the future (in January) is Whitley's sequel to Communion, "Solving the Communion Enigma," and you can be among the FIRST to get a copy if you pre-order now!



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