Integral Technologies Inc. of Bellingham is on the verge of commercializing a new moldable antenna material for cellular phones and electronic devices.
The ability to configure the material into almost any form could change the antenna market dramatically.
``We are fine-tuning the manufacturing processes,'' Thomas Aisenbrey, general manager, said in a telephone interview.
Integral researchers identified the proprietary ``plastenna'' technology in mid-2001 and, through wholly owned subsidiary Antek Wireless Inc., established an initial manufacturing and marketing liaison with GE Plastics of Pittsfield, Mass.
GE Plastics is supplying the compound, and Powell, Ohio-based design firm New Product Innovations Inc. is working on design.
In recent months, Integral obtained verbal commitments from several high-profile makers of handsets, compact telecommunications equipment and satellite systems. Prototype work is under way.
Ravi Mirchandani was named Integral vice president of business development.
He had been involved with the Integral project recently as regional director with NPI, which at the time was known as GE/Fitch and was a joint venture between GE Plastics and Cordiant Communication Group plc's Fitch Co. design/creative unit.
``This revolutionary technology will not only change the way we see antennae but will also facilitate the development of new wireless applications,'' Mirchandani said in a March 12 news release.
Exactly how shape-molded antennae may make today's protruding devices obsolete remains a proprietary matter.
Mirchandani said Integral is talking to several major processors to manufacture the product line.
Various compounds were being tested last month, Aisenbrey said.
Integral common stock trades over the counter.