Other than the battery, a phone's myriad radio antennae take up a good chunk of its internals. But a new design from the University of Michigan, funded by government grants, could dramatically change this. Tiny, hemispheric, super-efficient. Maybe the future.
The current operating prototype works at frequencies capable of WiFi and cellular action, but the coolest part of the hemispheric radio is its flexibility: "It can be used to fabricate antennas that are of a wide variety of sizes, shapes, frequencies, and designs," explains one researcher. "Basically if you tell me the data rate that is required for a particular application, I can make an antenna that does this while at the same time being as small as possible." This means cheaper designs, smaller designs, and devices that would have more room for other cool stuff inside. [Futurity]