Intellectual Ventures launches Kymeta spinoff, promises slim satellite broadband hotspots

Intellectual Ventures is best known for its tendency to sue everyone, but it's going some distance to mend that bruised image through a newly spun out company, Kymeta. The startup hopes to improve the quality of satellite broadband through mTenna-branded, Ka-band hotspots made from metamaterials -- substances that can boost and manipulate a satellite signal while occupying virtually no space, leading to self-pointing transceivers that are just a fraction of the size of what we use today. That still amounts to equipment the size of a laptop running at a peak 5Mbps, although it's small enough that Kymeta sees hotspots reaching individual customers who want access from a boat, a car or the field. We'd just advise against tossing out the MiFi too quickly. Kymeta doesn't expect the hotspot to be ready before late 2014 at the earliest, and that leaves many questions about how much of a hit we'll take to the pocketbook.