A low-power consumption, small-size smart antenna, named electronically steerable parasitic array radiator (ESPAR), has been designed. Beamforming is achieved by tuning the load reactances at parasitic elements surrounding the active central element. A fast beamforming algorithm based on simultaneous perturbation stochastic approximation with a maximum cross correlation coefficient criterion is proposed. The simulation and experimental results validate the algorithm. In an environment where the signal-to-interference-ratio is 0 dB, the algorithm converges within 50 iterations and achieves an output signal-tointerference-plus-noise-ratio of 10 dB. With the fast beamforming ability and its low-power consumption attribute, the ESPAR antenna makes the mass deployment of smart antenna technologies practical.