Building a better phone

Author: Brendan O’Shaughnessy

A full-head mannequin testing wireless performance in Notre Dame’s anechoic chamber for the Wireless Institute

A yellow mannequin half-head sits on a desk in Bert Hochwald’s electrical engineering lab with a dissected cell phone rubber banded to its ear. On a nearby computer screen, colored lights reveal the electromagnetic radiation the phone projects into the half-head, which was specially made to mimic the flesh and fluids of a real human being.

Hochwald, the Freimann Chair professor at the Notre Dame Wireless Institute, and his team are leading a three-year, $1.2 million investigation into how to improve the performance of cell phones while also reducing the potentially harmful radiation the phones expose our bodies to.

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Originally published by Brendan O’Shaughnessy at on January 25, 2016.