The amazing spray-on antenna

Wouldn't it be great if you could just pop out a can of spray-on antenna and boost your signal whenever it was running low? Chamtech Enterprises is hoping to make that dream a reality, and if you happen to work for the government, it already is, according to Chamtech's Solve for X presentation.

Chamtech took to Google's Solve for X to show off the new technology. The company plans to turn its focus towards mobile phones and medical devices, offering a quick solution to boosting signals from existing antennas, or creating new ones. Chamtech's 'antenna in a can' is far more efficient than traditional antenna models, offering energy savings equal to 12 times the amount of energy generated by solar and wind in the US annually - and it even works great underwater.

A traditional antenna would require thousands of watts to send out a signal with a one mile range underwater. Chamtech's can do that with only three watts, and have a stronger signal to boot. So how does all of this work?

The truth is, we don't really know. According to Chamtech's co-founder Anthony Sutera, he and his team came up with it in his living room two years ago. It works by manipulating magnetic and radio signals through mysterious organic materials, and you can spray it on any virtually any surface and hook into it with a flexible circuit cable.

According to Sutera, the US government has had a lot of success with the technology, getting better performance out of it than their existing portable antennas, which he described as some of the best around. With the efficiency and mobility offered, it could even be used to rapidly deploy new infrastructure in disaster areas.

Sutera and chief technology officer Rhett Spencer have coated their car antennas with the stuff, boasting that they can now listen to radio stations in Salt Lake City fifty miles away, with 10,000-foot mountain range in between. Within a few months, they hope to be thinking about financing the company, and are looking at venture capital options to help them bring their technology to you.

For his part, Spencer can't wait. “Can you imagine the infrastructure side of things? Telecomm under the oceans, Internet infrastructure, ships and satellite communications in the sea– they can do it out under the water.” Check out video of Chamtech's Solve for X presentation below.

Thanks to Neowin member brink668 for the tip.

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Wonder how long it will be before they decide this causes cancer? All humor aside, this also holds great potential for being used for spying on the public at large - Big Brother, where are you? If the government is involved in this, you can bet this is going to be used for evil! For all the good it could do, the reality is that government will find a way to use it to have power over the people and it gives me chills to think about how far that could go. If your house has a smart meter, there is the potential for a listening device at your house. Look up Agenda 21 and then tell me this is not something they can use to put us all in cages!

If what they say is true, then I'm all for it. I could spray all of my Window seals if I need to pan out to my neighborhood to reach for some wifi spots if my ISP is out of service.

Bearing in mind that I'm relying on Google's Beta transcription to CC, so what I read may not be what the guy actually said...

Makes sense -- a tazer (or camera flash) greatly amplifies a small amount of voltage, trading a lower amount of energy over time into a blast of much higher energy of much less duration, e.g. using the camera's flash wears out your batteries much sooner. In this case I'd guess that the reason it requires less energy is the inefficiency of traditional antennas.

Clicking through to the Solve for X site it says the guy already holds several patents, so I imagine a big portion of the funding he's after have to do with developing & testing the compound(s) sprayed & all the potential side effects to the environment as well as health... some people already target emf, & there's the claims that cell phone use causes brain cancer etc., so this new tech could bring up all sorts of issues. That *might* also explain why the military didn't just grab the tech & put an end to commercial usage then & there -- without broad acceptance beforehand they might have felt it would really be asking for trouble.

I'll have to see it to believe it.
I've been around antennas, radios for 40+ years. Granted, a cell phone only has around .6 watts of power, but, you still have to know the radiator, driven element, reflector lengths to make the antenna resonate at a known frequency. Pop open any cell phone and you'll find a pattern etched on a board, which is the antenna. Maybe these guys discovered some sort of outer space technology that self tunes at the nano scale or something, but I'd hold off on backing these guys til they have an independent lab verify their claims.

Show me this curing antenna death grip and I will be impressed

However if it really does what they say it can, its amazing stuff

I can see it now..

Policeman: Excuse me, what do you think you are doing, tagging a building, you are going to jail!!

Hoodlum: No officer, I was just trying to boost my wifi signal..

Patent it plz... he is a very honest guy it seems..
Best idea of 2012
just thing if Steve job was selling the same thng then it would have made it to the news channels

this be some great kung fu for cell phones and other radio transmitters imagine your out in the boonies with little to no signal and the sht hits the fan who ya gonna call Chamtech thats who

Find this hard to believe, as antennas have to be tuned for the frequencies they operate in, you can't just spray on an antenna and expect it to just work the same.... We'll see if this ever comes to market.

SirEvan said,
Find this hard to believe, as antennas have to be tuned for the frequencies they operate in, you can't just spray on an antenna and expect it to just work the same.... We'll see if this ever comes to market.

Antennas are tuned because they're basically inefficient at doing what they're designed to do -- they still work un-tuned, just very poorly. Broadcast radio, TV, wifi, cell phone signals etc. are all energy traveling through space rather than solids or liquids, & because you don't have a direct connection to transfer that energy, things get messy. Broadcasting at just one certain frequency lets others broadcast at other frequencies, & tuning, in the original design & afterwards deals with making the physical & electrical features or characteristics of your antenna optimal for a particular frequency or range of frequencies. It's like moving the rabbit ears around for a TV antenna, or holding your cell up & turning in a circle, or going outside to find the strongest (or any) signal. Unless it's blocked it isn't that the cell's signal isn't present all around you, no matter which direction you face -- it's that you're tuning the cell's antenna, helping it work optimally for the weaker signal.

EddieZ said,
The good to be true....this kind of invention would be kept secret by the military for at least a few years.

According to Sutera, the US government has had a lot of success with the technology, getting better performance out of it than their existing portable antennas, which he described as some of the best around.

Sounds like they already did. They usually keep stuff under wraps much longer though. If this is out anytime soon, it means the military already has a more improved version.

NightmarE D said,

Sounds like they already did. They usually keep stuff under wraps much longer though. If this is out anytime soon, it means the military already has a more improved version.

Or they want to release it to public to mass produce to drive down cost for themselves. Having it and knowing how to properly use it are not the same.

This is great. Sounds revolutionary if it can get rolled out soon with out a bunch of red tape. I would say that the underdogs like Clear and other small companies should clammer onboard if it pans out. I hope headset manufacturers are taking notice...

Sounds awesome, hopefully we will be able to get our hands on it in the future and it does not cost a arm and a leg to buy.

I cant believe it. I was imagining such a thing for the past month.

I was thinking of using metal sheets and wires. Signals inside my house are really weak for EDGE. I hope this gets commercialized soon.