Wireless Internet by Flicking Lights On and Off

Last year we learned about a sort of wireless internet network that operates through the blinking of lights.

Now it's a reality in the city offices of St. Cloud, Minnesota. Local startup company LVX System installed in six city buildings a form of wireless internet that doesn't rely on the 802.11 standards. Instead, it uses flashing lights – sort of like morse code.

Unlike morse code, however, the flashing lights come on and off so quickly that they are imperceptible by the eye. The lights come from LED fixtures overhead, which also double as lighting for the city workers. The light fixtures consume about 36W and provide the same sort of illumination as a 100W fluorescent fixture.

Modems on desktops receive and transmit lights back up towards the lighting fixtires.

Data bandwidth isn't by any means great, as the current technology is only able to deliver about 3Mbps. Wi-Fi is much faster, but the lighting method is more secure and less prone to interference.

Read more from the AP.

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  • Interesting but nothing new. IrLAN has been around for a while and it was proven a long time ago that the LEDs on modems can be used to monitor communications remotely.
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  • I think this is a brilliant idea, but it may have some adverse effects. For example, even though the lights are flashing faster than the eye can perceive, I wonder if it would still have effects on a person's eye since it is a flashing light still, just like LCD monitors still have effects on people because of this.

    Also, I would still find the security to be bad in terms of reliability. "Heya John, how's it go... oh no, I just covered your modem with a folder and you lost all of that data you were just uploading, too bad!" And you could probably confuse or scramble someone's data by flashing a flash light across the room... I do realize there's an equivalence of all of that with WiFi though, with jammers and all, but it would be much less genius to have a laser pointer on you, lol.
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  • when I saw saint cloud I was like.
    YES!!!
    Then I saw Minnesota and went.
    Aww!!!
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