Scientists Want to Use People As Antennas to Power 6G

We don’t yet know exactly how 6G wireless technology is going to work. But researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst believe using humans as antennas to power 6G may be the most viable way to harvest additional energy that would otherwise get wasted.

In the always-present effort to speed up informational exchange, scientists have already started investigating Visible Light Communication (VLC), basically a wireless version of fiberoptics, that uses flashes of light to transmit information. Adding VLC to 6G spurred the UMass Amherst team to dig even deeper.

First, some background on 6G. As a refresher, 5G—what is considered the fifth, and most recent generation of cellular broadband networks—is still in its infancy. True 5G networks operate in millimeter-wave frequencies between 30 and 300 Gigahertz, which are 10 to 100 times higher frequency than previous 4G cellular network. (Some cell phone providers cheat, however, by claiming the upper end of the 4G spectrum as 5G).