Researchers at military technology firm Chamtech seem to have developed an innovative way to solve cellphone and other radio signal black spots, with an aerosol spray can that paints an antenna onto any surface and boosts the network coverage in your area. Chamtech CEO Anthony Sutera took to the stage at Google's first "Solve for X" event, explaining that the aerosol coats the surface in many thousands of nanocapacitors, which align themselves and act as a wireless antenna for the devices around you.
Chamtech wouldn't say exactly how this works, but we have a theory: the nanocapacitors naturally form into a pattern that allow them to resonate with the cellphone signal in the air, and charge and discharge rapidly as they get hit by the electro-magnetic waves. This pulse emulates the way a cell tower works, allowing the smaller antennas in your cellphone or MiFi to receive signal from the passive layer sprayed onto the tree, wall, or side of the tent nearby. Because the nanocapacitors would do a lot of the hard work in finding signal, it would also mean that your phone antenna uses less power in order to get a signal, and that your battery could last far longer.
The company's Chief Technology Officer Rhett Spencer told attendees that the spray could be applied to cellphone antennas and boost the signal level by around 10 percent in real-world use. However, the company claims that the spray has achieved far greater amplification elsewhere. In the video below, Sutera describes how a tree was turned into an antenna capable of broadcasting a VHF signal over 14 miles, well over double the range of a traditional antenna, as well as being able to transmit a radio signal over a nautical mile underwater.