University of Maryland, New Cell Phone Technologies Could Attract Venture Capitalists

A new technology that measures the radiation absorbed into the human body from cell phones faster than current methods was awarded first prize at the University of Maryland Electrical and Computer Engineering Research Review Day Faculty Venture Fair, held last October, 9.
Christopher Davis, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, pitched its invention to a judging panel including venture capitalists and leaders in the region’s entrepreneurial community.
Davis’s technology uses 12 laser beams to measure the full specific absorption rate (SAR, a measurement used by the cell phone industry) of a cell phone’s radiation into a model of the human body in less than a minute. This system could cost less than current measuring equipment.
Davis explained his invention: “I was very surprised and delighted to win, because our technology is a little different, it is nearer to the ground than the other inventions presented.
“Cell phone certification is vital to the manufacturers of wireless devices. Improved testing equipment is needed that is accurate and fast. Current testing capabilities are expensive and slow and potentially subject to error”.
He was selected among six faculty members and graduate students who also presented their inventions. TidyTalk, an invention by Professor Carol Espy-Wilson that filters noise out of a sound sample to make any speaker’s speech sound clear, took the second place. TidyTalk can even pull out the speech of secondary speakers, or filter out sounds such as wind or truck noise when talking on a cell phone.
This was the fourth Faculty Venture Fair held at the university. Its sponsors included the university’s Office of Technology Commercialization, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech).
The Research Review Day is a showcase event highlighting the latest electrical and computer engineering technology innovations developed by faculty and students at the University of Maryland.
Dean Chang, director of Mtech’s venture and education programs, emphasised the relevance of Faculty Venture Fairs. He was reported as saying: “Many venture capital firms have traditionally found it difficult to mine the labyrinth of research at universities and emerge with a major market winner.
“With over $500 million in sponsored research at the University of Maryland, these Faculty Venture Fairs are an ideal forum for bringing together our most innovative academic researchers, venture capital firms, and university technology commercialization and entrepreneurship organizations to ensure that the best inventions on campus will have a good chance of finding their way out of laboratories and eventually into society”.

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