RF signal processors are pretty commonplace in consumer electronics. Which is exactly why it's exciting that two MIT researchers have created a super-radio based around the function of the human ear that's substantially faster and 100x more power efficient than today's signal processors.
The inner ear is able to take in all the noise in a surrounding area, and adapt how it processes the sound accordingly. Gizmag says that in a similar fashion, the RF Cochlea is able to analyse a wide range of frequencies, and maximize how it routes data for maximum bandwidth and minimal power consumption. In testing, these designs have been faster than anything they've ever seen before.
What this means for the rest of us is the development of faster, smarter radios for signals such as television channels, mobile phones, wi-fi, etc... These "smart radios" could not only take unused bandwidth from one application and put it to work in another, but they could also learn to avoid certain frequencies based on the radio waves in their current location. The end result would be stronger, clearer wireless signals.
The researchers also think it would be possible to commercialise this technology within a couple of years, if someone was so motivated. I like that. [Gizmag]