Over the past decade or so, the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) has gained significant popularity worldwide for many applications, referring to a network of various devices equipped with sensors as well as data integration and management software, communicating with each other, often wirelessly. However, there is still one significant barrier to fully unlock the utility of IoT, which is communication via radio frequency (RF) links, due to interference and signal degradation over distance.
According to SkyMirr, a company that designs, develops, and manufactures high-performance AI-Designed RF solutions worldwide, there are numerous problems in the fields of energy, biomedical, and communications that the world faces today.
Despite groundbreaking advancements in digital communications worldwide, there still exist significant challenges in the developing world, especially when it comes to internet connectivity. Around 37% of the global population has no internet access, most of them located in low-income economies across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. These people face various technical and infrastructural hurdles, preventing them from taking advantage of advanced communication technologies for learning and business.
In the field of energy, many oil production sites in the Middle East and North America are located in harsh desert areas, making them difficult to manage. Meanwhile, monitoring residences’ energy consumption can be labor-intensive and expensive for utility companies, as they have to employ thousands of people to read the electric meters of each household.
Meanwhile, in the biomedical field, there is a growing market for embedded health monitors, such as blood sugar meters, as frequent drawing of blood is painful, while other methods may not be as accurate. Oncologists and researchers are also experimenting with using wireless implants in cancer treatments, with the devices controlling the exact dose of radiation needed to help kill cancer cells.
SkyMirr CEO Eric (Youngmin) Jo says that the key to overcoming the problems in these areas is improving the performance of wireless technology. Jo argues that while industry-standard chipsets are always necessary, it is the performance of the RF link that differentiates one solution from another and fully unlocks the power of IoT for these critical applications.
In many applications, the necessary presence of multiple antennas results in reduced performance. This happens due to the electromagnetic energy creating negative coupling effects between these antennas that are co-located and confined in a small area. To address this, SkyMirr created its Multi-Layer Coupling Controlled Antenna Technology (MuLCAT®), which uses positive couplings to maximize system performance, resulting in significantly improved bandwidth, radiation efficiency, gain, and recognition distance.
The challenge is that those couplings are not visible, therefore it is very hard to design the structure to optimize the couplings in a positive way. That is why SkyMirr has implemented AI (Artificial Intelligence) to drive its MulCAT system. AI designs the structure to have positive couplings to maximize the system performance by adjusting the parameters in the structure.
By using AI-Designed MulCAT, SkyMirr was able to implement a solution for critical IoT areas. For example, SkyMirr developed a product for wireless electricity consumption monitoring for a major Korean utilities company, through its Energy Monitoring Antenna (TAEP115), saving thousands of manpower hours just to read the electric meters. Its technology can be adapted to work in harsh environments such as deserts and oceans, making it applicable for use in remote oil extraction facilities.
Meanwhile, SkyMirr’s Biomedical Monitoring Antenna (MAEP103), which measures just 1 millimeter, has been used in blood sugar monitoring implants, meeting the exact size and performance specifications of the client, while producing the signal strength necessary to reach external monitors effectively and accurately.
SkyMirr is also working to bring 5G internet access to up to 30 million people in Africa through its SkyMirr 5G/4G Wireless CPE (TCPA107). According to Skymirr, its MulCAT technology has five times better signal sensitivity, two times better efficiency, and up to three times wider bandwidth. This results in two times farther connection distance, and two times less transmission power consumption. With MulCAT technology many such regions can circumvent the unavailability of land-based broadband solutions such as fiber optic.
In less than two years since its founding in December 2021, SkyMirr has launched 10 products while filing nine patent applications . SkyMirr has recorded over 3,000% year-to-year revenue growth as well.
According to Jo, his motivation to found SkyMirr came from wanting to help improve people’s lives with innovative RF technology. There is also a personal component to it, as he has high blood sugar and a family history of cancer, and he believes that IoT technology can greatly help people in managing or treating these conditions. Having an academic background in both RF and AI, and previously served as a senior executive in global RF companies, he used his experience and motivation to establish SkyMirr, gathering several friends and colleagues in the industry. Today, SkyMirr’s team is composed of a strong, experienced, senior team, five of which, including Jo, hold PhDs. “We believe that effective wireless communication is a critical element in tackling many of today’s technological challenges. It allows us to establish a vibrant communication system without requiring fiber optics and other material resources. It also helps developing economies to grow faster through innovative solutions in energy, biomedicine, and communications,” Jo says.