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800Mbps Wireless Network Made With LED Light Bulbs

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the don't-blink-or-you'll-miss-it dept.

Network 175

Mark.JUK writes "German scientists working at Berlin's Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications have set a new world record for Visible Light Communication technology after they succeeded in using regular red, blue, green and white LED light bulbs as the basis for building a new 800Mbps capable ultrafast Wireless Local Area Network. Dr. Anagnostis Paraskevopoulos explained: 'With the aid of a special component, the modulator, we turn the LEDs off and on in very rapid succession and transfer the information as ones and zeros. The modulation of the light is imperceptible to the human eye. A simple photo diode on the laptop acts as a receiver. The diode catches the light, electronics decode the information and translate it into electrical impulses, meaning the language of the computer.' The solution, which could be installed on ceilings and would cover approximately 10 square meters, would be ideal for HD video streaming and inside Hospitals or Aircraft where traditional Wi-Fi is often banned. However visible light signals can easily be blocked, such as when a hand is passed in front of the transmitter."

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OVERPRICED !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959036)

LED lamps are overpriced !!

Summary designed for idiots... (3, Informative)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959044)

Seriously, does anyone here on Slashdot need their summary dumbed down that far?

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959070)

In fairness, he was quoting the article. (Although I did not RTFA)

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (2, Interesting)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959290)

Okay. But then the question becomes: "Why is such a dumbed-down article being posted to a technology site?"

I read TFA. It is terrible. It includes gems such as:

... have succeeded in developing an 800Mbps (Megabits per second) capable wireless network (WLAN - Wireless Local Area Network) by using nothing more than normal red, blue, green and white LED (Light-Emitting Diode) light bulbs. It apparently only takes "a few additional components" to turn regular LEDs ... into an affordable ultrafast wireless network.

Emphasis is added, to emphasize how these two sentences directly contradict each other. Did the author even read what they wrote?

More importantly, the article nowhere actually mentions what is new or different about this technology/process (or what the "additional components" might be). There is no way to discern if this is a breakthrough/innovation, or simply a standard configuration of off-the-shelf components. No indication about why tech-geeks should care. They claim a world record on data transfer, but don't provide any explanation, graphs, technical details... or, you know, evidence.

I'm not normally the Slashdotter who complains about this site going down the tubes. As far as I'm concerned this site has always had a mix of good and bad posts, and continues to have both good and bad posts. This particular article is ... terrible.

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960050)

I especially love the "LED light bulbs" part...

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (2)

AchilleTalon (540925) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960604)

No contradiction. The first sentence emphasize the fact they are using readily available LEDs without any modification to them. Making sure the reader doesn't think they are using a new type of LEDs. The second sentence state beside the LEDs themselves, you need something to modulate the signal and link to the wired network and/or computer. The second sentence would have been sufficient to explain that entirely, but I guess they were so often asked it they were using new, special, specific purpose LEDs they decided to emphasize they weren't.

And I suppose the redundancy LED lights is simply to emphasize this could be the office lights if they are LED based.

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959474)

TFA is not to blame here. The official press release [fraunhofer.de] (German) is similar stupid.

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959082)

What are these light-emitting diode lead lights thingies? Lead is bad for the environment.

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959378)

I heard they have mercury in them. If you break one, the EPA will fine you.

Fortunately, the make an Organic variety (http://www.wcaslab.com/tech/Organic_Lead.htm). I know that's safe for my children.

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959858)

Luckily, in LED lights the deadly mercury is replaced by harmless arsenic.

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (4, Funny)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959084)

Have you read some of the comments on stories lately? I fear it may not be simplified enough.

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (5, Funny)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959170)

What do you mean?

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959832)

"...Visible Light Communication (VLC) technology after they succeeded in using regular red, blue, green and white LED (Light-Emitting Diode) light bulbs as the basis for building a new 800Mbps (Megabits per second) capable ultrafast Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). " Seriously? Like nobody knows what an LED is?

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959942)

I think you would be unpleasantly surprised at what people don't know.

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959668)

You're reading it with IE6. Opera users get full schematics in the original German.

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959176)

To be fair, not everyone here is an electrical engineer, and some may need a refresher of what a modulator is. The "language of the computer" part is stupid, but it is a direct quote, so I think we can excuse it.

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959236)

To be fair, not everyone here is an electrical engineer, and some may need a refresher of what a modulator is. The "language of the computer" part is stupid, but it is a direct quote, so I think we can excuse it.

Who cares if it's a direct quote, it's retarded to put it on slashdot. Would you post a summary that has a quote: "and Linux is a unix-type operating system, while Windows isn't". Direct quote or not, it's stupid to include.

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (4, Insightful)

ZackSchil (560462) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959226)

At least it's technically accurate and well-written in addition to being dumbed down. I'll take that over your average mystery summary, which is misleading (either in the name of sensationalism or promotion), contains several typos, and at least one meaningless buzzword.

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959292)

I agree. It was better than the average summary. However, I would consider "thru" to be a misspelling (though not a typo).

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959260)

Considering the amount of Space Nutters on this site, people with strange gaps in their understanding of reality, I'd say yes, some people do need that dumbing down.

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959304)

I don't know what is worse, calling LEDs 'LED diodes' or 'LED light bulbs'

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959488)

I don't know what is worse, calling LEDs 'LED diodes' or 'LED light bulbs'

Yah, it's like saying, "I gotta go get some money from the ATM machine". Except probably more people say this than the summary's example. It reads like it was written for the average Walmart consumer.

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (1)

black soap (2201626) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959570)

Half the gas pumps around my town ask you to "enter PIN number" when using a debit card. At least the ATM machines don't refer to themselves that way.

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (1)

chucklebutte (921447) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960404)

I need a new NIC card!

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (1)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959530)

Actually the LED light bulbs isn't such a bad description, it's not directly mentioned in this article but from previous articles I've read about this technology, they are using standing LED room lighting units, those flush mounting halogen replacement bulbs.

The idea is that the same 'bulbs' you use for lighting a room are also used for networking, downside of course is that you have to leave the room lights on all day but I guess it's intended for situations where the lights are left on all the time anyway.

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/10/12/27/1911223/Using-LED-Ceiling-Lights-For-Digital-Communication [slashdot.org]

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959516)

800Mbps, how many libraries of congress per second is that?

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960244)

Approximately 0.00004 LoCps by my calculations.

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960364)

By my reckoning, 0.000005 LoCps, or one LoC every 2.315 days.

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (1)

mooglez (795643) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960904)

800Mbps, how many libraries of congress per second is that?

1.6 × 10^-5

Re:Summary designed for idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959672)

'Modulate' you say? 'Ones and zeroes' you say? A Witch!!

Tropical Storm Emily May Pass Florida Coast Sat. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959046)

Tropical Storm Emily is forecast to strengthen today as it approaches the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean Sea on a path that may take it past Florida's east coast on Aug. 6.

Emily is about 265 miles (425 kilometers) southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, traveling west at 14 miles per hour, according to an advisory issued by the U.S. National Hurricane Center at 8 a.m. in Miami. Emily has tropical storm-force winds of 40 mph and is still "poorly organized," the center said.

Re:Tropical Storm Emily May Pass Florida Coast Sat (3, Funny)

kanweg (771128) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959110)

The storm has LED some to believe that it is one bit of a self-propelled message that is transferred over thousands of miles. While working on solar energy, transfer of this information goes on during the night, preventing the thread to be derailed by Slashdot's nuclear proponents.

There is currently discussion whether the storm is a one (as seen from the side) or a zero (seen from top).

Hey, I tried to keep bring it back on topic.

Bert

Signal-blocking (2)

airconswitch (2038108) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959074)

It could just as easily be seen as a security feature. Drawing the shades is easier than encasing your room in Faraday cage. And while I'm at it, since when do hospitals ban Wi-Fi? The ones I've been around (Tufts Medical Center, Children's Hospital Boston & St. Elizabeth's) have all offered it for patient and visitor use.

Re:Signal-blocking (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959210)

For that matter, next time you are on a flight see how many "hpsetup" and "Free Public WiFi" networks you see.

Re:Signal-blocking (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959314)

It could just as easily be seen as a security feature. Drawing the shades is easier than encasing your room in Faraday cage. And while I'm at it, since when do hospitals ban Wi-Fi? The ones I've been around (Tufts Medical Center, Children's Hospital Boston & St. Elizabeth's) have all offered it for patient and visitor use.

It probably depends on the part of the hospital you're in. In the ER areas of my local hospital there are signs forbidding the use of cell phones and other wireless devices. There aren't any such signs in the waiting room.

Re:Signal-blocking (1)

mushroommunk (2427574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959368)

Kelemvor4 is correct. I work in a hospital on server maintenance and in some areas, usually where medical equipment is used and not in patient rooms, using wifi or your phone is strictly forbidden. It interferes with the medical equipment just the same as it interferes with the landing equipment on a plane.

Re:Signal-blocking (0)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959582)

Which is to say not at all?

Re:Signal-blocking (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960712)

Which is to say "possibly, and with disastrous results should it occur"

Repost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959128)

I saw this on slashdot sometime last year... it's nice to see that the technology is catching on I guess, but it's still old news.

This is so 2010... (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959670)

Did you read it here [inhabitat.com] ?

If so, apparently, we are the only two.

And still, a year later, no significant discussion of the uplink. Not much if a WiFi replacement if it's one-way, is it?

Honestly, /. is drifting into the mediocraty. One more upgrade, and slashcode/CSS/javascript will make it entirely useless for all but the browser snobs.

Re:Repost (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960556)

I remember a long time a ago. About a hack where someone was able to sniff a network with a security camera pointing on some 10Mbs hubs. Because the LED lights were blinking with the binary data on the traffic.

It's not a bug, it's a feature! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959142)

"However visible light signals can easily be blocked, such as when a hand is passed in front of the transmitter."

Some people would point out that this is not a flaw, it is a privacy feature. Try getting on the network with a wi-fi sniffer outside a room with the door closed and the curtains drawn. With this system, the privacy of your network is indeed much more private. -www.awkwardengineer.com [awkwardengineer.com]

Re:It's not a bug, it's a feature! (3, Funny)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959214)

Eventually, someone will figure out an even more private method, like some kind of wire.

Re:It's not a bug, it's a feature! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959370)

more private method, like some kind of wire.

That newspost troll upthread with the florida tropical storm might actually be on topic for once... there could be a tempest outside your door!

Re:It's not a bug, it's a feature! (1)

DemonGenius (2247652) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959736)

Eventually, someone will figure out an even more private method, like some kind of wire.

Surely you're not talking about fibre optics [techrepublic.com] , since we already know those can be tapped. There is always at least one weak point in any data transmission medium. Anyone persistent enough will get whatever information they want from anyone they want.

Re:It's not a bug, it's a feature! (1)

rich_hudds (1360617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959960)

You'd probably want to encase it in plastic

Upstream? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959186)

So... how does upstream work? Does every single one of the smart lights double as a receiver too?

Re:Upstream? (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959204)

I was wondering this as well as the summary doesn't mention a transmitter in the laptop, only a receiver

Re:Upstream? (1)

ZackSchil (560462) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959248)

Usually at a much lower speed using IR.

Re:Upstream? (2)

Loether (769074) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959500)

Not sure if you are trolling but, No, LEDs are not capable of receiving data or acting as inputs. In the summary they used the example of streaming video where of course the monitor doesn't need to send and data back. The summary said they use a simple photo diode to receive. Light Emitting Diodes and Photo Diodes are 2 separate distinct things.

Re:Upstream? (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959728)

Nice note, but it answers nothing. Less than nothing, you just trolled back and added nothing to the question or answer.

Even the comment about streaming video misses the reality that to receive streaming video, you must ASK for it. As in, uplink a request. Unless we also develop prescient mindreading networks. In which case, I didn't even need to type this...

Broadly speaking, this idea is half a network. I'm hoping they can do the other half.

Re:Upstream? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959748)

Streaming != broadcasting. Streaming *does* require a return channel, albeit a significantly lower speed would suffice. What you're describing is more akin to television (thus "broadcasting") than any sort of computer network (where "streaming" would have been appropriate).

LED's as photo-detectors (2)

Ozoner (1406169) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959812)

LED's are frequently used as photo-detectors. They aren't wildly efficient, but they do work.

www.parallax.com/Portals/0/.../LEDLightEmitterandDetector7-31-07.pdf

It makes the optics so much simpler if you can use just one device for TX and RX.

Lights off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959242)

What about us geeks that like the lights off?

Re:Lights off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959540)

What about us geeks that like the lights off?

Get a better looking girlfriend?

Re:Lights off? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959756)

If we did that, we wouldn't need this fancy super-fast LED network. Our bandwidth usage would drop 95%.

I guess LED screens can do the same (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959302)

Imagine my TV and my computer screen talk to each other at 800Mbps...

A good technology for air planes (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959348)

Most of us feel pretty strongly that WiFi on planes is not dangerous and that it should be allowed as-is. But since there are some extremely stubborn and inflexible people involved in policy making. (I don't say decision making because I don't think they are capable of making any.) But what if this "LiFi" (Did I just coin a new term? I doubt it...) were deployed on airplanes and USB transceivers were sold/lend to passengers, I think that would pretty much end the controversy and debate over in-flight WiFi.

Re:A good technology for air planes (2)

mushroommunk (2427574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959436)

Its not a matter of feeling or not. Wi-fi has been proven to interfere with emergancy landing equipment. Don't believe me? Read for yourself. http://www.zdnet.com.au/wi-fi-proven-to-interfere-with-aircraft-339311113.htm [zdnet.com.au] http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2011/03/10/354179/wi-fi-interference-with-honeywell-avionics-prompts-boeing.html [flightglobal.com]

Re:A good technology for air planes (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960264)

Its not a matter of feeling or not. Wi-fi has been proven to interfere with emergancy landing equipment. Don't believe me? Read for yourself. http://www.zdnet.com.au/wi-fi-proven-to-interfere-with-aircraft-339311113.htm [zdnet.com.au]
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2011/03/10/354179/wi-fi-interference-with-honeywell-avionics-prompts-boeing.html [flightglobal.com]

From your article:

A senior Boeing engineer stressed to ZDNet Australia that the levels of EMI required to affect a pilot's screen exceeds the levels produced by the normal operation of normal levels of Wi-Fi use.

"Boeing and Honeywell have concluded that actual EMI levels experienced during a flight where there is normal operation of a Wi-Fi system will not cause any blanking of a Phase 3 display. This is not a safety issue with currently operating 737s and 777s," a Boeing engineer said.

Re:A good technology for air planes (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960296)

I know... I saw those too -- they were posted to slashdot here before. Practially speaking, though, WiFi seems to work quite nicely on the Air-Tran flights I took over the holidays and I didn't notice anything when landing either.

Re:A good technology for air planes (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959514)

But what if this "LiFi" (Did I just coin a new term? I doubt it...) were deployed on airplanes and USB transceivers were sold/lend to passengers, I think that would pretty much end the controversy and debate over in-flight WiFi.

It would also cost money in new equipment, so that's a bonus as well. Anything to get the consumer to pay more, or to make him need something to spend money on.

LiFi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959744)

I love LiFi. Great name. Sadly, it's in use [duckduckgo.com] , though not as a networking term. Sadly, the equipment generates light, so it still overlaps some of the lighting equipment using the name. It also could be used to stream movies, and if sold in such a narrow role, could overlap the televisions using the name.

IANAL, so it could just be dead in the water regardless. How does that work? If you're using an original name for a line of meat thermometers, can I use the same name for my gold-colored lunar lander foil? I recall that Goodyear sued Fuji over blimps, and The Beetles sued Steve Jobs' company over Apples, but each pair came to agreements as they were not in the same business, at least at the time.

Re:A good technology for air planes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959954)

But what if this "LiFi" (Did I just coin a new term? I doubt it...) were deployed on airplanes and USB transceivers were sold/lend to passengers, I think that would pretty much end the controversy and debate over in-flight WiFi.

Wouldn't just plain old Ethernet do the trick? Most laptops have them, and there are plenty of USB dongles available if not. No love for iGadgets though.

Re:A good technology for air planes (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960268)

Wires are a trip hazard. And while I generally agree plain old ethernet would be best for many things, it's just not gonna happen. Li-Fi would not be easy to install on planes. They would have to do all kinds of things to run the light transceivers above the seats... probably replacing the useless flight attendant calling button or the "no smoking" light.

As for working with mobile devices other than laptops? Well... I wonder if bluetooth could be used? A bluetooth dongle powered by battery might do the trick... but in that case, we're back to radio transmissions again.

Re:A good technology for air planes (2)

pz (113803) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960794)

Most of us feel pretty strongly that WiFi on planes is not dangerous and that it should be allowed as-is. But since there are some extremely stubborn and inflexible people involved in policy making.

How many of you have done actual impact studies and considered things like out-of-spec transmitters, poorly repaired or perhaps modified wifi cards, etc?

Anecdotes are not data, but I had one particular laptop that, when the wifi was (inadvertently) turned on, prevented any PA announcements on one particular flight. And it was a bone-stock laptop with a bone-stock wifi card. After that discovery, the laptop was quickly retired, taken apart for the limited salvage value, and replaced with a new one.

It may well be that 200 properly functioning wifi transmitters all in close proximity of avionics will not interfere, but that presupposes that all 200 transmitters are working correctly, and for every single flight. It's easy to imagine a malfunctioning wifi card spewing power all over the spectrum, so presupposing that every card that will operate on every flight is correctly functioning is a losing supposition. My Ph.D. research included making recordings in electrically ultra-quiet environments and you would be surprised at the crap that even properly functioning equipment transmits.

It also may well be that 200 properly functioning wifi transmitters will interfere with reception of ground signals by overloading the input amplifiers on on-board radio receivers. Given what I know about radio receivers from my EE degrees, and my research experience, I'd put reasonable odds on that happening.

Nothing new or groundbreaking here (1)

SonicBurst (546373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959400)

Old modems with external LEDs (as well as other network equipment with TX/RX LEDs) were susceptible to data leakage just by reading the LED modulations. This is just faster. http://www.alge.no/ebooks/Optical_tempest.pdf [www.alge.no]

Re:Nothing new or groundbreaking here (1)

Irick (1842362) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959740)

All great innovations begin as a hack, then are further polished and improved. Discounting a novel use of a previously known phenomena is pretty closed minded.

Re:Nothing new or groundbreaking here (1)

SonicBurst (546373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959842)

I wasn't discounting it, just saying it's nothing new, not to mention it's nowhere near novel. Visible light communication was pioneered in the 1880s! http://bemri.org/visible-light-communication.html [bemri.org]

If only we had this Modulation tech 50+yrs ago! (4, Funny)

uncledrax (112438) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959430)

'With the aid of a special component, the modulator, we turn the LEDs off and on in very rapid succession and transfer the information as ones and zeros.

I bet they had something to read the modulator signals on the other side.. an Anti-Modulator perhaps?
They could come up with some cool acronym for this system.. MOAMO ? noo.. i'm sure there's something better..

Re:If only we had this Modulation tech 50+yrs ago! (1, Funny)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959790)

It's a DE-modulator.

Remember, the old MODEM acronym? Modulator/DEModulator?

My old ham radio days still haunt me. I know too much analog shit that still works.

Re:If only we had this Modulation tech 50+yrs ago! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959932)

Ah, radio... the delightful wooshing sound when you're not tuned in...

Re:If only we had this Modulation tech 50+yrs ago! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960004)

Your sarcasm detector is detuned.

More on topic, of course the principle is trivial. There are many practical problems with it though and achieving 800mbps is a feat. These guys [wikipedia.org] for example can't seem to get more than 10mbps out of LEDs and they already use a more sophisticated circuit than a transistor, a resistor and an LED, because that wouldn't even get them 10mbps. I'm looking forward to commercially available transmitters and receivers with at least 100mbps. Point-to-point links for mesh networking with that kind of bandwidth, no frequency shortages and no regulation? Sign me up.

Re:If only we had this Modulation tech 50+yrs ago! (1)

nd (20186) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960152)

*whoosh*

Re:If only we had this Modulation tech 50+yrs ago! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960374)

Woosh...

Re:If only we had this Modulation tech 50+yrs ago! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960678)

You're so clever you missed the joke.

Re:If only we had this Modulation tech 50+yrs ago! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960818)

whoosh!

Re:If only we had this Modulation tech 50+yrs ago! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960830)

Whoosh.

Re:If only we had this Modulation tech 50+yrs ago! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960850)

I think UN-modulator would be better: MOUNM. Or, counter-modulator: MOCOUNTERMO.

Re:If only we had this Modulation tech 50+yrs ago! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960998)

That wooshing sound you hear is sarcasm streaming over your head.

Re:If only we had this Modulation tech 50+yrs ago! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959908)

'With the aid of a special component, the modulator, we turn the LEDs off and on in very rapid succession and transfer the information as ones and zeros.

I bet they had something to read the modulator signals on the other side.. an Anti-Modulator perhaps?
They could come up with some cool acronym for this system.. MOAMO ? noo.. i'm sure there's something better..

MODMO = Modulator De-Modulator

Why not just use ethernet? (1)

kiwix (1810960) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959486)

Sure, this new technology is kinda cool, but it will require putting some equipment in the ceiling, and getting some network cable up there. Wouldn't it be simpler, cheaper, and more efficient to just put Ethernet plugs in the room?

Re:Why not just use ethernet? (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959550)

Think of older buildings being retrofitted - if they have solid cement walls, or plaster and lathe or something crazy, running ethernet through them might be difficult. Ceiling access would be much easier in that case.

Re:Why not just use ethernet? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959704)

there are plenty of fast and cheap solutions to hanging wires on walls or entire raceway for large bundle.

Re:Why not just use ethernet? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959884)

Here are some uses I can think of.
It may not be cheaper. Think of anyplace that you already use wifi.
How about in a home. Maybe as a replacement for DVI? Just put your laptop near your external monitor or TV and send video to it.
As a solution for wifi saturation. There are locations where you have a lot of wifi points and they can interfere with each other. This should be blocked by walls so it will provide a local wireless internet. Think of an office complex where each room could have it's own optical wifi point and not interfere with the office next to it.
It could also be a cheaper then wifi to implement. Of course it is LOS only but then you can bet bounce off of the walls and ceiling so that shadows are not as big of deal.

Re:Why not just use ethernet? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960434)

sure, but a lot of people just aren't tall enough to plug their laptops in with your solution. :-)

Pics or it didn't happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959646)

Pics or it didn't happen.

Visible light spectrum maybe not the best choice? (1)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959656)

It's great that they have achieved this speed with such simple technology. However, I wonder how useful this technology will really be. If you set your laptop down next to the TV, I wonder what kind of interference you'll get from the rapid fluctuations in light. I know the average techy type here is a troll living in the basement but what about the unwashed masses trying to use this in rooms above ground with the shades open? I wonder how much interference will all that light introduce, especially if you have lots of shiny bits in the window. I suppose they could really crank up the "LED (Light-Emitting Diode) light bulbs" to improve signal to noise ratio. But is that a practical solution? How about the really non-techy types wanting to use their wireless devices outside? How does it work when exposed to direct sunlight? If it doesn't, then what's the alternative? Traditional radio based wireless? We already have that.

I'm sure this is a great achievement but I'm just not sure if it's going to be practical for daily use for the average person. Though it may contribute to something that's useful. Perhaps as a semi-secure wireless network for higher security areas that are already closed off to the outside world. Maybe it would be good for dedicated areas that don't have the general purpose demands of the average consumer device. Maybe this will be integrated into some greater new technology further down the road. I know. We could use dedicated digital light transmissions to control the consumer devices in our homes. Oh. Wait...

Great for radio astronomy (1)

sockonafish (228678) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959754)

This would be perfect to deploy in the National Radio Quiet Zone [nrao.edu] . As it is right now no one can have wireless in their home within thirty miles of the GBT [nrao.edu] .

and so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36959874)

we'll see this technology available to us in 7 years split into 20 tiers by our ISP's which will only offer that speed with a router that only kicks 5MB down and 750kbps up so its not really going to matter. Enjoy!

800 Mbps? Is that it? (1)

Abuzar (732558) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959890)

Really? It takes 'scientists' to make LED transceivers + routers these days? and it's news that it goes all the way up to ... less than a gigabit?
With today's technology, they should be able to tease out a cost-effective consumer grade LiFi router that runs no less than 10Gbps.

Movies (2)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959978)

How do I watch a movie in the dark then?

I built something like this... (1)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36959982)

...using a "real" light bulb in 80's. Breadboarded my own special "modulator" device in fact. Of course, since I didn't have a fancy laptop then, I had to wire up a demodulator as well. Stuffed everything into two cigar boxes. You could even hear the filament "ring" when you tapped the box. Very cool!

Damn, I should have filed a patent on it...

Re:I built something like this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960114)

Too late. the patent would have expired by now anyway...

A new form of hacking? (1)

Gripp (1969738) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960230)

so, when i start blocking access to the internet, via my hand, will get charged as a terrorist?

Broadcast (1)

hey (83763) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960636)

A cool use of this might be broadcast. Everyone at a concert could receive a HD stream showing an alternate view.
(I see there is currently a 10 m limit)

Correction (2)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960826)

"However visible light signals can easily be blocked, such as when a hand is passed in front of the transmitter."*

*depending on the power of the light, and the translucence of the object. Visible light signals cannot be easily blocked, for example, if they are emitted by say an 80-million candlepower searchlight. For example, this would not be stopped by a hand, nor eyelids. Such might prove to complicate use on-board an airplane in other ways, however.

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