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'Wireless' 2Mbps Internet Using Blinking LEDs

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 48 comments

Get your blinking internet working.

The amount of freedom we have with our laptop computers these days compared to a decade ago is remarkable. Thanks to Wi-Fi and even more so now with 3G networks, we can access the internet from almost anywhere. But what if all those electromagnetic waves are undesirable to you? Then perhaps blinking lights are more to your liking.

Chinese scientists have demonstrated a wireless networking method which uses blue LEDs that transmit data by modulating flicker rate. The LED lights can double as lighting as the blinking is imperceptible by the human eye.

The speed so far achieved through blinking lights is 2Mbps, which is quite sluggish by today's other wireless standards. Also, instead of worrying about radio signal interference, now the concern will be the blocking of light transmission.

Still, it's an interesting concept. Read more from the Beijing Times.

(Via Engadget)

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  • 29 Hide
    N.Broekhuijsen , May 20, 2010 10:28 AM
    stridervm it's not so practical as LED's have generally low lifespans especially when they're almost always blinking.
    What planet are you from?
    LED's have amongst the longest lifespans of any bulb on this planet.
  • 20 Hide
    Verrin , May 20, 2010 10:33 AM
    Quote:
    But what if all those electromagnetic waves are undesirable to you? Then perhaps blinking lights are more to your liking.


    Uh, aren't "blinking lights" still emitting electromagnetic waves? =p
  • 12 Hide
    Blessedman , May 20, 2010 10:30 AM
    ??? LED's have generally low lifespans? I was under the impression that LED's had the highest lifespan of all lighting methods.
Other Comments
  • 29 Hide
    N.Broekhuijsen , May 20, 2010 10:28 AM
    stridervm it's not so practical as LED's have generally low lifespans especially when they're almost always blinking.
    What planet are you from?
    LED's have amongst the longest lifespans of any bulb on this planet.
  • 12 Hide
    Blessedman , May 20, 2010 10:30 AM
    ??? LED's have generally low lifespans? I was under the impression that LED's had the highest lifespan of all lighting methods.
  • 5 Hide
    CTPAHHIK , May 20, 2010 10:31 AM
    Hospitals do not allow cell phone or wireless technologies of any kind because it interferes with medical equipment that also uses wireless on same band. If this technology proves to be reliable it would be an alternative to prevent interference.
  • 20 Hide
    Verrin , May 20, 2010 10:33 AM
    Quote:
    But what if all those electromagnetic waves are undesirable to you? Then perhaps blinking lights are more to your liking.


    Uh, aren't "blinking lights" still emitting electromagnetic waves? =p
  • 11 Hide
    twisted politiks , May 20, 2010 10:34 AM
    stridervmGreat, more ammo for the paranoid... Saying they're sensitive to lights, so no net based on LED's...Seriously..... Although it sounds cool, I think it's not so practical as LED's have generally low lifespans especially when they're almost always blinking.


    generally low life spans? are you talking about LED's that last 25,000 hours (and still shine 70% of what they were at when new after the 25,000 hours) ,or halogen and incandescent bulbs which typically burn out at 1,250 and 2,500 hours, respectively?

    As far as i knew, LED's are the most efficient man-made visible light source we have.
  • -6 Hide
    twisted politiks , May 20, 2010 10:36 AM
    VerrinUh, aren't "blinking lights" still emitting electromagnetic waves? =p


    yes but at a much longer wave length, thus being a lot less "harmful" if you can call wireless harmful.
  • -6 Hide
    peanutsrevenge , May 20, 2010 10:49 AM
    This seems like a dead end technology IMO, walls are a major issue for radiowave wireless, using light for the medium would require a new wall building method, possibly using fibre optics running through them.

    Dead end!
  • 4 Hide
    zodiacfml , May 20, 2010 11:09 AM
    infra-red died long ago.
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , May 20, 2010 11:32 AM
    "But what if all those electromagnetic waves are undesirable to you? Then perhaps blinking lights are more to your liking."

    and what exactly is light? if not an electromagnetic wave...??
  • 3 Hide
    warmon6 , May 20, 2010 11:41 AM
    guid_aaa000001Photograph shown here is of a light bulb (not LED)


    Not every pic you see on here is going to be 100% accurect to the story, sometime there not really related at all....

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/PlayStation-Linux-PS3-Xbox-Xbox-360,10311.html
  • 0 Hide
    anamaniac , May 20, 2010 11:45 AM
    CTPAHHIKHospitals do not allow cell phone or wireless technologies of any kind because it interferes with medical equipment that also uses wireless on same band. If this technology proves to be reliable it would be an alternative to prevent interference.

    Having hospital equipment on heavily used public frequencies seems to be a problem that they should be focusing on fixing, not the consumers.

    Morse code with flashlights at night not good enough for you? Why not hget a truckload of little LED's?
  • 0 Hide
    WR , May 20, 2010 11:55 AM
    twisted politiksyes but at a much longer wave length, thus being a lot less "harmful" if you can call wireless harmful.

    Shorter. It's just that we live with daily bombardment from visible and infrared light. Anything other wavelength range and people start worrying - microwaves, radio waves, ultraviolet, gamma and x-rays.

    This seems like a dead end technology IMO, walls are a major issue for radiowave wireless, using light for the medium would require a new wall building method

    Like glass? Technically radio waves have no trouble with walls. Cell phones and wireless routers use the microwave band, which almost everything absorbs or reflects.
  • 4 Hide
    td854 , May 20, 2010 12:04 PM
    Weren't the infrared ports that used to be on laptops a bit faster than this and basically used the same principle except the LEDs were infrared instead of visible light...?
  • 5 Hide
    mavroxur , May 20, 2010 12:13 PM
    They tried this before, it was called IrDA, and it never caught on. Only different was that it used infrared instead of visible light.
  • 2 Hide
    kryten42 , May 20, 2010 12:14 PM
    Quote:
    Hospitals do not allow cell phone or wireless technologies of any kind because it interferes with medical equipment that also uses wireless on same band. If this technology proves to be reliable it would be an alternative to prevent interference.


    Maybe you haven't been in a hospital recently. My last several trips I've asked about cell phones, and they've stated that as long as the patient isn't on a heart monitor, that cell phones and other wireless is just fine.
  • 0 Hide
    mattclary , May 20, 2010 12:19 PM
    twisted politiksyes but at a much longer wave length, thus being a lot less "harmful" if you can call wireless harmful.


    Visible light has a very short wavelength compared to radio frequency EMF.
  • 12 Hide
    mavroxur , May 20, 2010 12:26 PM
    guid_aaa000001Photograph shown here is of a light bulb (not LED)



    The picture *IS* of an LED. Try again, Captain Failboat.
  • 1 Hide
    blood_dew , May 20, 2010 12:28 PM
    Now can they secure it?
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