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Future LEDs Could Transfer Data, Light Up Your Room

Next Gen Wireless May Be Desk Lamp Driven
Right now, we rely on radio wave to pass data wirelessly from one device to another, but that approach has inherent limitations. For one, there is only so much radio bandwidth to go around. That already limited space is crowded with TV signals, cell phone radios, Bluetooth headsets, and, most obviously, radio stations. Then, there is the fact that radio waves can pass through walls, which is great for networking a home, but also great for hackers who want to snatch your personal information out of the air.

Researchers believe they've found a solution to these problems in LEDs. Those tiny lights that are popping up in desk lamps and flashlights may represent the next generation of wireless networking. (They've got to be LEDs; fluorescent and incandescent bulbs won't work.) By flickering the lights in a room, scientists were able to transfer data at up to 230 Mbps, about the same speed as high-end 802.11n routers. This was accomplished using commercially available bulbs and flickering them millions of times faster than the human eye could perceive. Researchers believe that doubling that rate should be a fairly simple task.

Of course, there are limits. While it's theoretically possible to network an entire home with the flickering lights, the signal would vanish as soon as you stepped outside. So don't expect Wi-Fi to completely disappear any time soon. [From: Science Daily, Via: PopSci]

Tags: internet, led, leds, top, wi fi, wi-fi, WiFi, wireless