A miniature television antenna that is just 11cm long, 6.5cm wide and 6mm thick has been developed by Mexican researchers, who say it achieves excellent reception despite its small proportions.
The antenna, created by a team from the University of Morelos, weighs 12g, increasing to 80g when coated.
The device can be used both outdoors and indoors and is designed to be placed in a fixed spot in the ceiling.
Its compact, rectangular shape has proved strong and resistant, it does not require any attachment when used indoors, and by using a signal splitter it can be connected to different TVs.
The antenna does not require electricity and it has been tested by one of the largest television companies in Mexico, with promising results.
It has already been subjected to very low temperatures and other harsh environmental conditions as part of the testing process.
"In the California area it could pick up the signal of about 70 local channels, and after the analogue switch-off in Mexico City, recorded 28 channels, 23 of them without repetition," said Dr. Margarita Tecpoyotl Torres, who leads the project.
“The idea came from applying new materials and new geometries, to create a smaller antenna in comparison to those that already are available. Advanced materials were tested and the design was based on an array of antennas and other elements; [it] is actually more than one antenna."
Tecpoyotl believes the design is unique in its size. The smallest pre-existing TV antenna prior to the new device measures 30cm by 30cm, he said.
“Due to the characteristics of our design, the patent was granted last year and now we seek business or an investment opportunity that allows us to mass-produce it. Although the manufacturing is semi-craft, its cost is less than what the market offers after the analogue switch," he added.
Last year, a team from Cambridge University proposed a new theory of electromagnetism that could enable the design of antennas to be drastically miniaturised, small enough to be integrated into an electronic chip.