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Light bulb networks could be the next WiFi

Joshua Topolsky
October 7, 2008
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If researchers at Boston University's College of Engineering have their way, light bulbs of the future may be the highway your data gets carried along. A team at the school is working on low-power LEDs which could utilize an optical communication system to carry data wirelessly. Using a technique which rapidly switches the LEDs on and off data transmissions could be made via imperceptible -- yet undoubtedly brain-scrambling -- flickering patterns, and each light would be its own network entry point at speeds of 1 to 10Mbps. The concept is more secure than current RF techniques because it requires linked devices be in line-of-sight, and the technology would draw far less energy than conventional radios. Says professor Thomas Little, "Imagine if your computer, iPhone, TV, radio and thermostat could all communicate with you when you walked in a room just by flipping the wall light switch and without the usual cluster of wires." Yes... and talk about you behind your back. And plot your "accidental" death after taking out a large life insurance policy on you. You won't get away with this LED network!

[Thanks, Travis]



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