Los Angeles – Waltham, Massachusetts based Fractal Systems, Inc. recently disclosed that it has filed a patent application for a fractal based wireless antenna. The technology, known as Fractal Plasmonic Surfaces, uses fractals placed on the surface of the device close together in a unique pattern. According to Fractal Systems, the fractal pattern increases the antenna’s capability at a low cost. The antenna will have wideband ability and is meant to increase signal strength regardless of environment or placement.
In a press release issued by Fractal Systems, inventor Nathan Cohen claims that the new fractal antenna will solve recurring problems smartphone makers have had to deal with including loss of signal strength from user contact with the antenna. Rather than featuring distinct multiple antennas, such as the iPhone’s dual antenna system, the fractal antenna will consist of one antenna that repeats itself numerous times on the surface of the device. Inventor Nathan Cohen stated, “There is a freedom of placement and usage that is unprecedented in new applications. Put simply, whenever you see a surface, you can now think ‘antenna.”
Fractals are fragmented geometric shapes that are “self-similar,” meaning that the shape of the whole is similar to a part of itself. Approximate fractals are common in nature and found on snowflakes, broccoli, crystals, and DNA. For example, the frond of a fern is self-similar to the entire fern, though not identical.
In order to receive patent protection, an invention must be useful, novel, and non-obvious. If the invention does improve antenna signal strength in a new way, it will likely satisfy the utility and novelty requirements of patentability. Furthermore, while approximate fractals do occur in nature, the fractal pattern used by Fractal Systems will not be approximate, but will amount to a “meta-material,” an artificial material not found in nature. The patent will consist of geometric figures scaled down and placed in intricate patterns on the surface of the device. If Fractal Systems, Inc. can show that this antenna method does improve signal strength, they stand to gain considerable attention from smartphone manufacturers striving to eliminate dropped calls.