LED Lights Send Internet Data in Minnesota

NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Member Posts: 1,407 ■■■■■■■■□□
LED Lights Send Internet Data in Minnesota
I saw this story on the news and thought it sounded pretty cool.

This sounds interestng transfering internet through lights.

ST. CLOUD, Minn. - Flickering ceiling lights are usually a nuisance, but in city offices in St. Cloud, they will actually be a pathway to the Internet.

The lights will transmit data to specially equipped computers on desks below by flickering faster than the eye can see. Ultimately, the technique could ease wireless congestion by opening up new expressways for short-range communications
When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

--Alexander Graham Bell,
American inventor

Comments

  • ehndeehnde Member Posts: 1,103
    Very interesting, good find. I wonder how visible light networking technologies handle brighter sources of light (interference).
    Climb a mountain, tell no one.
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Member Posts: 4,212 ■■■■■■■■□□
    How is this much different than infared technologies that have been around for years?
    Decide what to be and go be it.
  • chrisonechrisone Senior Member Member Posts: 2,198 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Devilsbane wrote: »
    How is this much different than infared technologies that have been around for years?

    dont shoot the messenger hahaha hes just showing us a link of something interesting. Anyhow, it is relatively a useless technology. Our eyes will definitely see it and either our brain will process it or not. Either way it would probably give most people a headache. icon_lol.gif
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  • BokehBokeh Member Posts: 1,636 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I would like to see this in action. I have an office up in St Cloud, wonder if I could arrange a visit to the office that has it installed.
  • RomBUSRomBUS Member Posts: 699 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I was just reading about this on Engadget, very interesting indeed.
  • tierstentiersten Member Posts: 4,505
    1994 called, they'd like IrDA back. I'm sure I've seenor heard about this idea years before as well...

    Its an interesting idea but isn't going to be very practical for office situations which is what it seems they're aiming for. It'd be a nice idea for home use for devices like PDAs. If every room has one of these in the middle then your low data consumption devices would just work (assuming LoS) and you'd get the benefit of being able to tell where a device is.

    Offices have a high density of computers/people along with many obstructions e.g. cubicals. If you don't have LoS to the special light fixture on the ceiling then its not going to work properly.

    You're going to need many lights spread out across the ceiling so that everybody gets a reasonable speed and don't need to have too many people sharing the same fixture. If you've got multiple people on a single fixture then doing collision detection or avoidance is going to be an interesting problem since the other modems are unlikely to be able to see that another modem is already transmitting.

    If you're fitting and wiring this many special light fixtures then you should have done it properly and wired up the network using ethernet.

    Tapping into this system is going to be just as easy as tapping into a WiFi network if you've got windows in the room. Considering people have managed to reconstruct data from reflections, I don't see this posing much of a problem.
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Member Posts: 4,212 ■■■■■■■■□□
    chrisone wrote: »
    dont shoot the messenger hahaha hes just showing us a link of something interesting. Anyhow, it is relatively a useless technology. Our eyes will definitely see it and either our brain will process it or not. Either way it would probably give most people a headache. icon_lol.gif

    I actually saw this on the news yesterday, wasn't intending to shoot the messenger at all. From the TV it just looked like a normal LED. It flickers so fast that your brain won't be able to detect it. Look at a florescent light for example. They flicker 60 times a second, and yes people can get headaches from time to time due to prolonged exposure but generally we're ok with it.

    I just question how practical it is to mount hundreds of LED's on the ceiling and then also having one on your desk (need to be able to send signals both ways right?) If that is the case, what is the difference between running ethernet cables all over the building and then plugging in when you need it? New technology is always cool and it will be interesting to see what happens with it, but I won't be running out to buy stocks tonight.
    Decide what to be and go be it.
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