In the smart cities of the future, posters, signs and clothing may talk back

In the smart cities of the future, posters, signs and clothing may talk back

Image Credit: University of Washington

New research from University of Washington has shown for the first time that ambient FM radio signals can be used as a signal source for wireless communication. The technology, developed by engineers in the Networks & Mobile Systems Lab and Sensor Systems Lab, creates backscatter transmissions that can be decoded on any FM receiver, including those in cars and smartphones. This enabled the researchers, led by students in the two labs, to communicate information to cars and smartphones in outdoor environments, using posters, signs, and even clothing, affixed with minimal conductive material.

Learn more about this cool new technology in the Smithsonian.

This story was originally published by the Smithsonian and authored by Randy Rieland.