This lightbulb could work as your next wireless router.
At the University of Virginia, researchers have unveiled a new way to transmit wireless data in light waves from LED lights - a much more reliable and faster alternative to radio wave Wi-Fi.
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"We developed a modulation algorithm that increases the throughput of data in [visible light communications]," Maite Brandt-Pearce, an engineering professor at the University of Virginia, told Phys.org. "We can transmit more data without using any additional energy. As more light fixtures get replaced with LED lights, you can have different access points to the same network."
Brandt-Pearce and with her former student Mohammad Noshad, who is now a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard, developed this new way to connect to the Internet.
The technology would require no more energy than is currently used to emit light. The light waves can carry data at 300 megabits per second from LED fixtures to wireless devices.
The researchers have filed a patent on their technology and have created a company called VLNComm, which stands for Visible Light Network Communications. They are now working on a prototype for potential investors: a desk lamp that provides an Internet connection when the light is on.
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"Researchers have called it ‘Li-Fi,'" Brandt-Pearce told Phys.org.
Although the technology would only work with devices that have some sort of optical receiver, the concept could provide a big boost to connectivity speeds with the potential to use every light in a building as an Internet transmitter.