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.