October 08 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Technology Year: 2008 Rating: 10 Hot
If you haven’t smacked yourself in the head this week while uttering “why didn’t I think of that,” prepare to smack.
“Boston University’s College of Engineering is launching a program, under a National Science Foundation grant, to develop the next generation of wireless communications technology based on visible light instead of radio waves. Researchers expect to piggyback data communications capabilities on low-power light emitting diodes, or LEDs, to create “Smart Lighting” that would be faster and more secure than current network technology.
“This initiative aims to develop an optical communication technology that would make an LED light the equivalent of a Wi-Fi access point.”
Basically, the light emitted by an LED can be used as a transmitter to broadcast an internet connection.
If that doesn’t sound like something that could help spur the wireless revolution I don’t know what will. The potential behind this sort of technology is mind-boggling. You combine something people can’t live without (light) with something that everyone will eventually not be able to live without (wireless internet). Brilliant.
The only issue that may come up would be if the lights could function while turned off.
Image: Goins (Flickr, CC-Attribution)