‘Stanford gurus enable two-way radio communications. Over.’
Call it the holy grail of radio transmissions if you must, but even if you’re not about to toss that label on it, there’s no question that the work being done in Stanford’s engineering labs could destroy quite a few preconceived notions about wireless interference. Demoed as a concept last year, a newfangled wireless technology developed in Palo Alto is proving that signals can indeed be sent and received at the same time. Outside of the cellular telephony world, this seemingly simple occurrence doesn’t really happen — typical wireless signals have to take turns when it comes to listening and transmitting. As an example, it’s impossible for a WiFi router to “shout” out signals while also being intelligent enough to quiet its own voice in order to hear “whispers” from a connected device. The breakthrough came when researchers found that radios could be tweaked to filter out the signal from its own transmitter, something that already happens within noise-canceling headphones. If this can be packaged into a commercially viable platform, it could instantly double the amount of information sent over existing networks, and on an even grander scale, it could allow airplanes to radio into control towers simultaneously (a feat that’s shockingly impossible with today’s physics bearing down). Head on past the break for a downright enlightening video on the matter.