I live in an area full of “not in my backyard” prudes who force me to have less than great cell service because they think cell towers are going to lower their property values. While the tower is about a mile away, it’s uphill, and there are lots of trees between us, which, depending on the day, can make things very frustrating. Ericsson’s labs have been playing around with a new window concept, though, that embeds a cell phone antenna into the glass of the window, which somehow will boost the signal by creating an open Faraday cage. Presumably there is a reason for this, potentially pinballing the internal signals around to reach the antenna-pointed “drain lane”?
We’ll see. Ericsson itself isn’t in the window business, but it’s looking to license the technology to partners who will develop and implement it. Other possible neat tricks for windows include optional infra-red sensors that let you turn areas of the glass into context-sensitive touch buttons, like for turning on lights or calling an attendant. We’ll see if anything comes of this, but I know that I’d love to boost my signal without paying $200 for a femotocell.