Future ‘smart walls’ key to IoT

IoT equipment designers shooting for efficiency should explore the potential for using buildings as antennas, researchers say.

Environmental surfaces such as walls can be used to intercept and beam signals, which can increase reliability and data throughput for devices, according to MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).

Researchers at CSAIL have been working on a smart-surface repeating antenna array called RFocus. The antennas, which could be applied in sheets like wallpaper, are designed to be incorporated into office spaces and factories. Radios that broadcast signals could then become smaller and less power intensive.

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