Cellular antennas often wear disguises. Chances are, your smartphone has at some point connected to an antenna that looks a lot like a pine tree, a palm tree, or even a cactus. But in typical fashion, serial Silicon Valley inventor Steve Perlman aims to push this idea much further. He and his company, Artemis Networks, just unveiled a cellular antenna disguised as a cable. Yes, it's wireless technology that looks like a wire.
We got a peek at Mohu's wireless TV antenna last night, and this morning the company is releasing a few more details. The AirWave promises free TV "everywhere" across a variety of mobile and connected TV devices, since it catches the OTA signal and turns it into an IPTV stream for its app, sort of like a localized Aereo (RIP). The antenna will cost $150 when it launches in "late" spring at Best Buy stores, and won't require any kind of subscription package for access. All it needs is power, access to local TV signals and WiFi, then you've got TV and the viewing app has a guide that integrates TV broadcasts with content from various streaming services.
One thing about cord-cutting and switching to antenna-delivered TV is that for some people, they just can't get good signal where their TV is. Mohu's new AirWave antenna solves that by making it wireless. The $150 device just need to plug into power so that it can catch TV broadcasts, transcode them and stream the video via WiFi to its apps on platforms like Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, iOS, Android or web browser. We couldn't get all of the details tonight at the CES Unveiled event, but it should hit shelves in the spring.
A US patent granted to Apple this week shows that its engineers are experimenting with wireless charging, a feature that's found its way to many phones and tablets but not Apple's iPhones and iPads. The patent, spotted by Apple Insider, would deliver power using signals in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, among others. Those frequencies are the same ones used by Wi-Fi routers, which means Apple's invention could pave the way for your phone to charge wherever there's a strong-enough Wi-Fi signal. Once your phone gets enough juice, it could also provide power to other devices around it using the same frequencies. Like all patents, there's little chance of this technique showing up in consumer devices in the immediate future, nor is there a guarantee it will ever make it to market.
The next generation of cell phone technology will be much faster but require far more antennas than carriers currently use. The next generation of cell phone technology will be much faster but require far more antennas than carriers currently use. In at least 20 state capitols across the country this year, the wireless industry is pushing legislation to streamline local permitting for the next generation of cellular technology. Instead of soaring towers with antennas on top, future cell sites will adorn power poles and streetlights. The wireless industry says these densely packed, small cell sites will lead to even faster download speeds for the fifth generation of cell phones compared to the current generation.