Light bulb WLAN
Last year, Chinese scientists showed off some new old-school tech, transmitting data with blue LEDs that flicker faster than the human eye can perceive. This throwback to the good ol' days of IR receivers was able to hit speeds of 2Mbps, but leave it to the fine folks at the Heinrich Hertz Institute to push the light bulb networking tech to the extremes. Earlier this year researchers hit 500Mbps with white LEDs; now, using a combination of white, green, blue, and red, the team ramped that up to 800Mbps, officially putting Ethernet on notice. The line-of-sight networking won't actually replace your standard Cat 5 line or WiFi router, but it could find a home in places like hospitals where radio-based wireless technology can cause problems for sensitive equipment. With any luck, we'll soon be bathing our homes in HD-streaming illumination.