Our ability to combine healthcare with various forms of technology makes the notion of cyborgs less absurd. After all, if iPhones are now also hearing aids, and our own sweat an alternative for batteries, what isn’t possible? For now, nearly nothing. But if ideas run dry, these acoustic antennas could make smart brain implants a reality.
“Current antennas are limited to large sizes, which are hard for many applications like bio-implantable, bio-injectable, and bio-ingestible antennas,”
Traditional antennas can’t be downscaled because they receive and transmit large electromagnetic waves. Acoustic antennas interact with wavelengths thousands of times smaller, allowing them to be millimeters in size.
The team has so far developed two types of acoustic antenna. The first has a circular membrane and is used for frequencies in the gigahertz range — including those frequencies used for Wi-Fi. The other acoustic antenna has a rectangular membrane for megahertz frequencies, typically used for TV and radio.
Primary application of the antennas is to shrink bulky technologies (or simply make the iPhone even thinner). As a smart brain implant, the device would presumably enhance methods of communication and memory retention. It’s every struggling university student’s dream — but will likely cater to a more exclusive group.