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Wireless Networking Hardware Technology

Wireless Internet Access Uses Visible Light, Not Radio Waves 264

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the no-tin-foil-hats-required dept.
An anonymous reader writes to tell us that a company has demonstrated a new form of wireless communication that uses light instead of radio waves. "Its inventor, St. Cloud resident John Pederson, says visible-light embedded wireless data communication is the next step in the evolution of wireless communications, one that will expand the possibilities in phone and computer use. The connection provides Web access with almost no wiring, better security and with speeds more than eight times faster than cable."
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Wireless Internet Access Uses Visible Light, Not Radio Waves

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  • Next step?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PsyciatricHelp (951182) on Friday January 16, 2009 @06:14PM (#26489431)
    Last time I checked light doesn't travel through my wall. Radio waves do.
  • Light, huh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday January 16, 2009 @06:14PM (#26489435)

    Has this guy never seen snow? Or fog? Or rain? Does he live in a desert? Two words: Atmospheric absorption.

  • by omnilynx (961400) on Friday January 16, 2009 @06:22PM (#26489631)

    There's a reason we don't already use visible light signals to send wireless data (except if we're lost in the wilderness, I guess). It's VISIBLE. Can you image how annoying it would be to have light flickering around you all the time from your communicating devices? One of the primary advantages of the various bands we use (radio, infrared, etc.) is that they don't interfere with our normal operations: they're invisible.

    We've got plenty of bandwidth that doesn't interact directly with the human body. Why don't we stick to that instead of trying to use something that does?

  • Re:But... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16, 2009 @06:26PM (#26489693)

    Where and when are microwaves or radio waves commonly referred to as light?

  • by CaptainPatent (1087643) on Friday January 16, 2009 @06:39PM (#26489939) Journal

    Can you image how annoying it would be to have light flickering around you all the time from your communicating devices?

    You know that thing you looked into when you typed your message. Be it a CRT, LCD or Plasma, it flickers at 40-120 times per second.

    Communication applications would flicker even faster to the point you wouldn't notice unless you sent a constant string of 0's or 1's.

    Don't get me wrong, I still think it's a bad idea for line of sight and other interference reasons, but flicker is near the bottom of that list.

  • Re:huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday January 16, 2009 @06:48PM (#26490113) Homepage

    Yes, it seems like they're drawing a couple suspect distinctions in this article. They talk about "light" as being very different from "radio" even though they're both EM radiation, and they talk about "using light" as very different from "using fiber optics", even though it's really just a difference of medium.

    I don't really see it working out. We already use that portion of the EM spectrum for... you know... seeing. I guess you could claim that being easily blocked (e.g. by walls) is an advantage, but for most people in most circumstances, being able to pass through lots of materials would be a greater advantage. If you really want tighter security, then instead of relying on walls to block the signal, this technology could be improved by creating some sort of conduit that would go directly from one point to another. Like some kind of fibrous, wiry, cable-like structure between them. I'm sure that would be much better than fiber optics.

  • Utter bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by topham (32406) on Friday January 16, 2009 @07:08PM (#26490483) Homepage

    The article is utter bullshit.

    Using light, as opposed to radio waves is NOT more secure, unless the room has no windows, or others areas for light to escape.
    Wiring a room to support it could easily cost $300 (you still need atleast one network drop to the room, and mount the transmitter).

    Are there environments where the slight advantages it has may be worth it? sure. but they will be so rare that the cost of the device will stay quite high.

    THe article looks like a puff piece designed to lure in investors.

  • by Nonsanity (531204) on Friday January 16, 2009 @08:14PM (#26491273)
    I'll remember that next time I go to the Radiology department for an X-ray...
  • Re:Next step?? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16, 2009 @08:24PM (#26491383)

    wouldn't the flickering light inside your house also be annoying as hell?

  • by Tubal-Cain (1289912) * on Friday January 16, 2009 @08:53PM (#26491733) Journal
    So using visible light negates the need for expensively embedding faraday cages into the buildings.
  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Friday January 16, 2009 @10:42PM (#26492713) Homepage Journal
    It does. On the other hand, you need to paint over all the windows.
  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Friday January 16, 2009 @10:50PM (#26492741) Journal

    So I'm going to lose connection every time someone stands in between me and the light emitter? And cell phones? So every time somebody walks past me while I'm on the phone I lose the signal?

    We are already coming up with new ways to make fiber cheaper and with this stuff you'd still need fiber because you aren't going to get great distances with it. Not to mention the billions it would take to install this thing along the roadways so it could work as a cell phone. Maybe in small indoor areas it might be decent, but if I am in a small area there is already gigabit and fiber. So to me this seems like a solution with more problems than the tech they want to replace. No thanks.

  • Re:But... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jstockdale (258118) on Friday January 16, 2009 @11:28PM (#26492999) Homepage Journal

    Wherever photons = light?

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