New Technique Turns Any Object into an FM Radio

Transmitters? We don’t need any stinkin’ transmitters. Or encoders. All we need is to harness a technique called “backscattering” which can turn any object–even your jacket–into an FM radio. Tom points to this article at The Stack.

A new technology is enabling everyday objects, such as posters and clothing, to be transformed into FM radio stations, according to research from the University of Washington.

The team has introduced a technique called ‘backscattering’ which uses ambient low-power radio signals to broadcast messages from random objects to smartphones in the local vicinity. The researchers hope that the development could help support various smart city applications, and picture a future where anything from a poster at a bus stop to a road sign can transmit audio updates and information to passers-by.

During testing, the researchers were able to use the backscattering technique to create a ‘singing poster’ which could send out the music of an advertised band to smartphone users at a distance of up to 4 metres and to cars in an 18-metre radius.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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