Metamaterials Momentum: IV Spinout Kymeta

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Metamaterials Momentum: IV Spinout Kymeta

September 1, 2015

Nathan Myhrvold once described metamaterials as the closest thing to magic he’s ever seen. And if IV spinout Kymeta’s recent success is any measure, magic is something that the market can get behind. It’s been quite a year for the company, so we thought we’d take some time to highlight just a few of the ways Kymeta’s technology is making an impact.

If you follow our social channels, you’re likely aware of Kymeta’s latest partnership with electronic powerhouse Sharp. It’s a great match – Kymeta’s innovative antenna, known as mTenna, is made from liquid crystal-based metamaterials and will be complemented by Sharp’s liquid crystal-based display production technology.

Here’s how it works: the lightweight antennas use software to accurately point toward a satellite, a huge improvement from the current system of large and costly mechanical steering technology. Combine Kymeta’s satellite design with Sharp’s production capabilities, and there is huge potential for product innovation. As an example, imagine a car connecting to a satellite. Right now that’s almost impossible unless you place a heavy, expensive piece of equipment on top of the vehicle. But with a Kymeta antenna, the technology is compact enough to be built into the roof of the car – making it effectively invisible.

Like we mentioned, Kymeta’s been busy, and the Sharp partnership is far from its only news:

  • Earlier this year, the company announced its partnership with Airbus Defence and Space to deliver mTenna technology for maritime markets, including the commercial shipping industry, on an exclusive basis. And in March, Intellian announced that it would be integrating Kymeta’s mTenna technology into its maritime satellite terminals. These partnerships move Kymeta towards executing its vision of lower cost, high-speed satellite Internet connectivity to traditionally Internet-deprived areas, like the open sea.
  • Just a month later, Kymeta announced its collaboration with Honeywell Aerospace and Inmarsat to develop a new, high-speed wireless antenna. The three companies are working together to bring faster broadband service to aircraft all around the world, from small business jets to major commercial flights. Kymeta’s role in this venture is to develop smaller and more compact antennas, which will not only reduce weight and drag on the aircraft, but also lower fuel and maintenance costs.  

From everyone at IV, we congratulate Kymeta on their fantastic momentum. We can’t wait to see what the company has in store for the future of global connectivity and communication.

Want to learn more about Kymeta? Check out the company’s history. And learn about IV’s Metamaterials Commercialization Center, where the idea for the company was incubated.

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