RFocus asks a simple question: What if instead of just antennas and transmitters on access points and mobile devices, we put the things just about everywhere? You know, just totally slather the walls with the stuff? The new “smart surface” from MIT’s CSAIL uses in excess of 3,000 antennas to boost signal strength by nearly 10x.

The department issued a paper today showcasing the technology, which is relatively cheap, with each antenna running a few cents. Better still, it’s low power, either reflecting a signal or allowing it through, depending on the software controller. CSAIL envisions a future where RFocus is used in homes and warehouses to boost signals for the Internet of Things and various network-connected devices.

“The core goal here was to explore whether

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