Researchers at a Dutch university have demonstrated a new wireless Internet connectivity scheme based on rays of infrared light.
Scientists at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands say their wireless network can handle 40 gigabits of data per second while eliminating the need to share bandwidth as Wi-Fi does.There's no need to share because each device on the network gets its own beam of light.
Data is transmitted to users from ceiling-mounted light antennas that use passive diffraction gratings to angle light of different wavelengths to different spots in the room – and therefore to different devices.
The scientists say the beams of light can track mobile phones and tablets as they move around the office.When light from one antenna is blocked, the data stream is instantly switched to a different antenna.
According to Eindhoven University, the network tracks the location of mobile devices by honing in on the radio signals beamed in return.The current implementation uses light rays only in downloading.The network relies upon conventional radio signals for uploads, since most applications need less bandwidth for uploading.
Researchers emphasize that the wavelength of light used by the system is safe and harmless to human eyes.
The researchers say they attained a speed of 42.8 gigabits per second over a distance of 2.5 meters, compared to Wi-Fi's top speed of 300 megabits per second.Moreover, since each user is assigned a different wavelength, they do not have to share data channels as Wi-Fi users do.