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In this paper a compact switched-beam antenna is proposed. The antenna is composed of a four-element antenna array based on L-shaped quarter-wavelength slot antenna elements. Such an antenna element is a planar structure and presents a directional radiation pattern in the azimuth plane. Its maximum radiation direction is toward near the direction of the open end of the slot. As a result, the open ends of the four slot antennas are arranged toward 0, pi/2, pi, and 3pi/2 , respectively. The statuses of these antennas are controlled by some diodes. Consequently, by carefully controlling the diodes, an antenna with several switchable patterns can be achieved. To prove the concept, a 2.4-2.5 GHz switched-beam antenna for WLAN applications is designed and implemented. Its size is 52 mm in square. The antenna possesses eight directional patterns and many nearly omnidirectional patterns in the azimuth plane. The experiment results fully demonstrate the performance of the proposed design. The envelope correlations and the characteristics of the designed antenna are also discussed. Due to the compact size and low manufacture cost, such a design can be a promising solution for digital home applications to overcome multipath problems and increase the transmission data rate.