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Spray-on antenna: Wireless in a can

Chamtech's spray-on antenna uses a nano material to provide a low-power boost to antenna range. The wireless-in-a-can product may some day bring an end to unsightly cell towers.

Chamtech spray-on antenna
The antenna can, seen next to a closeup of the nano material.
Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

It sounds like a particularly suspicious late-night infomercial: Spray your way to a better wireless signal! Improve your range! Save battery! Transmit over great distances under water!

But Chamtech's spray-on antenna is a real product with some impressive claims. It can be sprayed on almost any surface, even trees and orange barrels. It doesn't suck up power. It works in a mysterious nanotech way.

Chamtech antenna test
This fuzzy image shows the first test of the spray antenna with the material applied to a tree. (Click to enlarge.) Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Here's how I imagine the antenna process goes:

Step 1: Spray antenna material on surface.
Step 2: Connect phone to material.
Step 3: ????
Step 4: Make a phone call to the moon.

Chamtech co-founder Anthony Sutera imagines a world where wireless antenna towers are replaced with nano-paint on walls, and issues like iPhone Antennagate are a thing of the past.

"We have come up with a material that when you spray it on, it lays out just in the right pattern and all of these little capacitors charge and discharge extremely quickly in real time and they don't create any heat," Sutera says in a video presentation about the product.

One of Chamtech's tests turned an RFID chip with a 5-foot range into an RFID chip with a 700-foot range. The company lists a spray antenna kit on its site, but pricing for the public is not revealed. The U.S. government is reportedly already playing with the new material.

If all these claims bear out, then I can see everybody wanting to get their hands on a fresh can full of antenna. My only question is where in the grocery store it will be stocked: with the spray cheese or with the gold food paint?

(Via Neowin)