Posting in Energy
Will the next generation Wi-Fi be delivered at the speed of plasma? A new antenna beckons.
It's annoying when the Wi-Fi connection is slow. But don't blame your kids -- look instead to the nature of traditional antennas. To satisfy our Facebook addiction and mobile TV habits, we tap into directional antennas.
But a different kind of antenna could boost the speed of home Internet -- and perhaps change our Wi-Fi consumption forever.
Enter plasma antennas. New Scientist describes that the antennas "could revolutionize high-spreed wireless communications, miniature radar and even energy weapons." Its ability to beam-form high-frequency radio waves into one stream would help deliver wireless content in a snap. Meet Plasma Silicon Antenna (PSiAN).
Beam-forming antennas will help us keep up with our ever increasing Wi-Fi use in the home. While there are two types of plasma antennas, the solid-state antennas are preferred over semiconductor antennas.
The real benefit of upgrading the Wi-Fi networks is to get them to run faster. Wi-Fi usually can manage 54 megabits of data per second. The fancied Wi-Fig would handle up to 7 gigabits per second. This would mean you could download a TV show in a matter of seconds.
Plasma antennas can be made smaller than traditional antennas. The PSiAN should come to market in a few years. Let's hope so, for the sake of time.
Dec 13, 2010
Thanks to PSFTGURU@..for his insightful post, and for the correction as I was on the verge of spoking my 'nads in the interest of science. My gut tells me that irradiating our homes is bad and there will be a price, but that idea seems to be discounted by current culture. Time will tell.
You really phoned this one in, Boonsri. Brevity is no excuse for a vapid article! If you're going to write an article on such a topic, you should also know that "solid state" and "semiconductor" are the same, which you would have known had you read your source article more clearly! As the quantity of content on the internet increases, the quality is bound to decrease, but you should try not to be a part of that.
A correction to my previous post: Radiating vs. Irradiating: "I'm not nearly as concerned about somebody electronically dropping eaves (Whatever they are) on my credit cards as I am about radiating my gonads." Wikipedia - Irradiating: is the process by which an item is exposed to radiation. The exposure can be intentional, sometimes to serve a specific purpose, or it can be accidental. In common usage the term refers specifically to ionizing radiation, and to a level of radiation that will serve that specific purpose, rather than radiation exposure to normal levels of background radiation or abnormal levels of radiation due to accidental exposure. This term also applies to 'non-ionizing radiation as microwaves or to low frequency (50/60 Hz power supply), high frequency (as cellular phones, radio and TV transmissions). Wiktionary: Radiate: EtymologyFrom Latin radiatus, past participle of radiare (?to radiate, furnish with spokes, give out rays, radiate, shine?) < radius (?a spoke, ray?).  Verbto radiate (third-person singular simple present radiates, present participle radiating, simple past and past participle radiated) 1.To extend, send or spread out from a center like radii. 2.(transitive) To emit rays or waves. The stove radiates heat. 3.(intransitive) To come out or proceed in rays or waves. The heat radiates from a stove. 4.(transitive) To illuminate. 5.To expose to ionizing radiation, such as by radiography. 6.(transitive) To manifest oneself in a glowing manner. 7.(ecology, intransitive) to spread into new habitats, migrate. I definitely was not thinking of furnishing gonads with spokes, or emitting light or other wave forms. I guess I meant to say irradiating, which although not great does not sound nearly as paintful as spreading out or placing spokes (furnishing?) in one's gonads. Thank you for your patience.
A friend of mine, actually my best friend of 50+ years placed crumpled aluminum foil on the rabbit ears antenna of his tv in an attempt to enhance reception. He recently expressed concern about the potential harmful effects of cell phone radiation on the human brain, so I took the aluminum foil off of his tv antenna, fashioned it into a hat and placed it on his head. He looked somewhat like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz, but perhaps he was protected, I don't know. I do know that there is now a wallet being advertised in SkyMall magazine, which is made from stainless steel threads. One of the vendor's claims is that it will shield your credit cards against electronic eavesdropping. BTW, what are eaves and what happens if they are dropped, but I digress. I can't help but wonder are we whipping a dead horse when we try to regulate the transmission of all these different wave phenomenon (radio, microwave, cell-phone), when regulatory bodies yield to the highest bidder. Perhaps the solution is for all of us to dress in clothes (or at least underwear) made from woven stainless steel thread. I'm not nearly as concerned about somebody electronically dropping eaves (Whatever they are) on my credit cards as I am about radiating my gonads. One added benefit of course will be that our new clothes will protect us from those nasty x-ray machines that the TSA likes to toast us and marshmallows with at the airport. If they pat us down (I don't like pat-downs), perhaps our new stainless steel undies will make that more bearable as well.
Love technology advancements but pull a wire to the computer station so the information can be delivered safely and faster. We insulate cables for particular reasons and we have to remember that humans are essentially an unprotected conductor in a wi fi or otherwise radiated environment. There was an oversight in safety codes and standards reported to the Canadian government Standing Committee on the issue. Recommendations are to investigate the oversight because the omission that humans weren't considered to have electrical properties is significant. The Safety Code 6 says that the unintentional stimulation of tissue is to be avoided because example studies have shown there to be nerve and muscle depolarization or a heat effect. Nerves affect every function of the body, where are you keeping your phone? Here is a link to Safety Code 6 which uses the same scientific standards as the international community. http://www.thermoguy.com/blog/index.php?itemid=47 Installing technological advances safely can be done as it has been done from the beginning. Radiating areas is convenience and not as safe as thought.
Sorry, article is all over the place and has no substance. Is it talking about mobile wireless or in the home Wi-Fi? Seems to switch back and forth like they are one in the same. What makes it a plasma antenna? Is that just a cool name or are there in fact some properties of plasma involved? Also, aren't most Wi-Fi antenna Omni directional for a reason? If it's a focused beam, that sounds very directional to me, and that makes applications extremely limited. Also potentially more dangerous as some have mentioned. As usual, SmartPlanet is just providing quick PR for a company and not a real article.
@ johnleitelt - I believe that this is a mis-quote: From http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20827904.600- wireless-at-the-speed-of-plasma.html "There are two types of plasma antenna: semiconductor or solid- state antennas, such as PSiAN, and gas antennas. Both could fit the bill, but solid-state antennas are favoured as they are more compact and have no moving parts."
The bottleneck is still getting the data to your home. High speed wireless only helps move data from one computer to another in the home. First it has to get there on your cable or DSL. Now if this could be moved up to WiMax that would help, but still you will run into bottlenecks that keep you from ever reaching gigabit speeds.