About Near Field Magnetic Induction Communication

In our efforts to develop the industry's first wireless system for two-way radios, testing revealed that all commonly-used radio frequency (RF) technologies (e.g., Bluetooth) were not up to the challenge of providing highly reliable and secure wireless communication between a device and a two-way radio.

After extensive searching and testing, FreeLinc determined the properties of magnetic induction technology were best suited for the challenge. While the concepts behind magnetic induction communication are not new, the unique formulation of magnetic induction that we've chosen, Near-Field Magnetic Induction (NFMI), is the first to capture the benefits of this technology for use in short-distance, personal communications.

Conventional radio frequency (RF)-based wireless communication systems have seen great success when applied to sending large amounts of data and for communicating over long distances. However, the inherent structure of the RF spectrum results in interference and crowding among devices, creates information security issues, and consumes a great deal of power. A good example of this problem is in the 2.4 GHz industrial/scientific/medical (ISM) band where the simultaneous operation of a cordless phone, a WiFi network and a Bluetooth device is often impossible without severe degradation in the quality of the transmission.

NFMI, on the other hand, does not communicate using the RF properties of the electro-magnetic spectrum. Instead, it uses the magnetic field close to the transceiver (Near-Field) to sustain communications. Since NFMI does not rely on RF-based transmission for communication, it is immune to interference from nearby RF sources. By expanding and modulating this Near-Field, or what we call the "personal communications bubble", Near-Field Magnetic Induction envelops the personal space of each user and is inherently private and secure. Additionally, NFMI is a system that makes far more efficient use of power - over 5 times more power efficient than typical RF-based systems.

By encapsulating the transmission within the "bubble", and limiting the range to only what the application requires, Freelinc achieves the significant benefits of:

  • Dedicated communication channels
  • No bandwith sharing
  • Complete frequency re-use between bubbles
  • Reliable coexistence with WiFi, CDMA, TDMA and GSM
  • A very substantial savings in power

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