Hamilton-based research and development company Power Beat International has taken a "significant step forward" in a six-year-long project aimed at transferring video signals and other data without wires. Originally called MegaMantis, the project was the brainchild of company managing director Peter Witehira. It uses a visible low-power light beam to transfer data, video and radio signals at speeds only possible in the visible light spectrum. Practical applications for the technology are transmitting video and audio signals from one location to another. Yesterday the company claimed to have successfully tested its upgraded GigaMantis system to transmit data through a 100mm-thick wall. It said no stray radio or microwave radiation was created and no holes were drilled through the wall. Mr Witehira said GigaMantis could transfer data at 10 gigabytes per second through solid structures, including concrete, metal and wood, up to 300mm thick. The technology aims to allow rooms in buildings and vehicles (including trains, ships and aircraft) to be networked without the need for cable, radio or microwaves. Mr Witehira said the technology had the capacity to be "thousands of times faster than WiFi". No wireless networking devices nearby, such as in other rooms or across the street, could intercept or interact with the network. The company said data could be transmitted between buildings up to 5km apart. The company intends licensing the technology and hopes to have its first commercial model running within a year. Research and development was mainly funded by Australian businessman Ross Palmer. Mr Witehira said about $5 million had been spent on the project in the past six years.
Waikato Times 18th August