O3b and Kymeta are trying to build a self-steering non-mechanical satellite antenna using metamaterials. Such an antenna could make O3b’s satellite broadband links mobile, helping further it and Google’s goal of connecting billions of people.
Spun off from Intellectual Ventures and backed by Bill Gates, Kymeta is having little trouble raising the funds it needs to develop its new metamaterial satellite antenna technology.
A 3D printed dielectric donut can shield from microwaves, and a separate advance in metamaterial design blocks visible light.
After four years, Intellectual Ventures is spinning off the second company from its vast intellectual property portfolio. Kymeta is focused on using materials not found in nature to build radio-wave shaping satellite antennas, which could be used to connect any boat, plane or truck to the internet.