Mitsubishi thinks it just made an antenna out of seawater

nasa lidar laser plankton coral reef ocean
Wires and antennas may in time become a thing of the past, but the latter may be making a comeback — in the form of seawater. No, I haven’t lost my mind — Mitsubishi has managed to construct an antenna entirely out of seawater, tapping into the conductive properties of the salt-laden universal solvent that allows for the transmission and reception of radio-frequency waves. On Wednesday, the Tokyo-based automotive company announced the development of an “innovative antenna system, called SeaAerial, that shoots a column of seawater into the air to create a conductive plume.”

0127

In what seems to be the first ocean-based antenna since the U.S. Navy’s 2011 concept appeared, Mitsubishi notes that “a plume of seawater” could be utilized to conduct signals if properly insulated, and as such, the company has proposed “an insulated nozzle that transmits radio waves to the antenna even when the plume is physically connected to the sea surface.” So yes, your newest antenna would basically be plugged into the Pacific. More impressive still, after multiple simulations, Mitsubishi managed to create an ocean antenna that has an efficiency level of 70 percent, which allows for effective operation.

While Mitsubishi has yet to implement its new idea, it has high hopes for the future of the technology. Pointing out that the “SeaAerial, despite its size, can be installed virtually anywhere along the shore, as well as offshore,” the Japanese company says that such an antenna may allow for ships and submarines to communicate across long distances at sea. And because it “basically requires just a pump and an insulated nozzle,” the seawater antenna is extremely portable.

Mitsubishi claims that the antenna is already capable of “receiving digital terrestrial broadcasts for normal viewing,” and if it manages to turn one of the “most abundant resource[s] on Earth” into another way to binge watch television, it just may be the best thing ever.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Self-driving cars, ocean exploration, and holiday shopping

Today on Digital Trends Live, we discussed the first self-driving car service in Phoenix, an expedition heading to the bottom of the world's oceans, and talked to Liz Dunn from Pro4ma about holiday shopping trends.
Deals

The 6 best blackout curtains to banish excess sunlight and preserve heat

Whether you're a fussy sleeper, work odd hours, or are just sensitive to light, a set of blackout curtains can help. Along with allowing you to enjoy better rest, light-blocking curtains can insulate your home, saving you cash.
Outdoors

The best sleeping bags to help you conquer the cold, no matter what season it is

A proper sleeping bag has the ability to make or break a camping or backpacking trip. Here are our picks for the best sleeping bags on the market to help you choose the correct bag for any type of outdoor adventure.
Emerging Tech

New experiment casts doubt on claims to have identified dark matter

A South Korean experiment called COSINE-100 has attempted to replicate the claims of dark matter observed by the Italian DAMA/LIBRA experiment, but has failed to replicate the observations.
Emerging Tech

It’s no flying car, but the e-scooter had a huge impact on city streets in 2018

Within just a year, electric scooters have fundamentally changed how we navigate cities. From San Francisco to Paris, commuters have a new option that’s more fun than mass transit, easier than a bike, and definitely not a car.
Emerging Tech

White dwarf star unexpectedly emitting bright ‘supersoft’ X-rays

NASA's Chandra Observatory has discovered a white dwarf star which is emitting supersoft X-rays, calling into question the conventional wisdom about how X-rays are produced by dying stars.
Business

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Emerging Tech

Full-fledged drone delivery service set to land in remote Canadian community

Some drone delivery operations seem rather crude in their execution, but Drone Delivery Canada is building a comprehensive platform that's aiming to take drone delivery to the next level.
Emerging Tech

Intel wants its fleet of drones to monitor America’s aging, unsafe bridges

Intel has signed a deal to use its Falcon 8+ drones to carry out bridge inspections. The hope is that these drones will be useful in spotting potential problems before they become serious.
Emerging Tech

Transplanted pig hearts show promise in baboon trials. Are humans next?

Researchers in Germany have successfully transplanted modified pig hearts into baboons. The results take us one step closer to ending organ transplant waiting lists for good. Here's why.
Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.
Emerging Tech

Makerbot is back with a new 3D printer that’s faster and more precise than ever

MakerBot's new Method 3D printer aims to bridge the gap between home 3D printers and more industrial 3D printing tech. Here are a few of the tantalizing things you can expect from it.