We're certain there's a better way to increase your cellphone signal, and it's clearly not those mass-marketed antenna boosters from days past. But Purdue University grad student Yuehui Ouyang may be onto something. With the help of electrotextiles -- clothing with metal in or on it -- she has determined that using outerwear as a mega-antenna would yield fewer dropped calls and cause less frustration by eliminating the need to find just the right corner to stand in to get signal. Essentially, the antennas on your body would receive the signal and pass it a short distance to the mobile, creating a larger opportunity for remaining connected while chatting. Currently, her antenna-strapped lab coat acts as the prototype, but she's hoping to extend the technology to sweaters, jackets, and other forms of clothing sure to give fits to metal detectors. The first wave of recipients, should this ever go big-time, would likely be government and emergency personnel who could immediately benefit from "hands-free clothing." While the new threads sound practical, we should probably ensure these things aren't traceable before suiting a soldier up in electrotextiles for top secret reconnaissance.

[Via Textually]

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Grad student produces cellphone lab coat