A chinese scientist is trying to bring back line-of-sight networking (Bluetooth, Wifi are omni-directional), by streaming video to a laptop, Desktop, Smartphones/PDAs with nothing but ceiling-mounted blue LEDs.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences claims to have attained a 2Mbit per second internet connection that transmits data simply by modulating the flicker of the little diodes, and imperceptibly enough to have them serve as room lighting as well. Since LEDs consume only a partial amount of power that bulbs, it is the most energy efficient combo of Lighting+Networking we’ve see so far.
Looking closely, single mode Optical fibers work on the same basic concept: Quickly switch lasers (based on LEDs as well) at a high frequency to interpret ZEROs and ONEs as data stream and then encode, compress them using proper techniques. On the receiving end, same process is reversed to get data back. We’ve seen several LED based communications but most of them traditionally needed a media (like fiber) to travel. the ones that traveled through air were painfully slow and unusable.
The current 2mbps may not be ideal for Home networking, but technology has scope of further improvement, above all, its a Green Tech solution we aspire for, for the meantime WiGig would offer great 7 Gigabit Wireless Home Networking solution.