From Smart Phones to Smart Cities

Antenna that act like spotlights, tracking a device once they locate it, instead of radiating in all directions, like light bulbs, could form the basis for future smart cities.

What's the Latest Development?


Sensors, and hopefully not censors, will be the backbone of the fully-networked smart cities of the future. Researchers in Germany are working on the logistical hurdles to achieving "smart" cities, where all devices present within municipal areas are intelligently linked to one another. The Cocoon project envisions cities based on a communications network consisting of sen­sors that receive streams of data, or signals, analyze them, and trans­mit them onward.

What's the Big Idea?

Beam-forming is expected to be a key to the smart city. "Current types of antennae radiate omnidirectionally, like light bulbs. We intend to create conditions, under which antennae will, in the future, behave like spotlights that, once they have located a sought device, will track it, while suppressing interference by stray electromag­netic radiation from other devices that might also be present in the area."

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