Customers today expect smart products to be portable, compact, aesthetically-pleasing – and able to be connected anywhere and anytime. That is true for all products nowadays, but especially for consumer products where users expect a sleek look and feel without sacrificing any of the connectivity and performance they expect. Putting a check mark next to that entire wish list is challenging for product engineers, though, because of the inherent tension between a small, aesthetically-pleasing product and robust connectivity.
It takes a very careful balance between an antenna’s size, design, and performance to meet customers’ needs while also matching their stylistic preferences for the products’ overall design. As a rule of thumb, the larger the antenna is, the better its wireless range will be – but with that better performance comes challenges about how to make it work for the product you are designing. Finding the right balance is critical for every engineer, but navigating that tradeoff between antenna size and performance gets more challenging each year. The marketing specifications for new products dictate a design that is more compact than the last generation without sacrificing the wireless range. Unfortunately, making an antenna small and hidden are the two mortal enemies of antenna performance.
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.