Magnetic communicator could help rescuers talk through solid rock

Radio waves are nice and all, but when you think that your Wi-Fi signal weakens when you go into another room, just think about what would happen if there were 30 solid feet of rock between you and the router. And if lives depend on your signal, what you really need is something for which barriers like that are no worry. For instance, magnetic fields, which “propagate” differently, and can be tuned to basically ignore intervening structures.

Think about it. A compass can “see” magnetic north through the entire world, there have to be other ways to use such unique properties. As it turns out, a company called Ferro Solutions is working on a set of communication devices that allows for interference-free exchange of information — though it’s not clear what kind of bandwidth we’re looking at.

The system relies on two or more stations being tuned to the same resonant frequency, and by a series of transduction elements, a radio signal can be converted into a series of magnetic oscillations, which would be detected by all devices on the same frequency. Could be useful for a lot of things — not least in the case of disasters, where rescue teams must stay in constant contact with the surface (and those in need of rescue) but often have a ton of interfering objects in the way. I’m looking forward to hearing more about this tech.

[image: Popular Mechanics]