Burst Lighting Communication

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There is talk right now of technology that could revolutionize the way wireless communication is utilized – imagine using flashing light to communicate with devices, not unlike the way that IR technology is used with devices, or light pipe technology is used in recording.  Boston University’s College of Engineering is launching a program with help from an NSF grant to get this kind of technology kicking.  From the article at Cellular News:

“Imagine if your computer, iPhone, TV, radio and thermostat could all communicate with you when you walked in a room just by flipping the wall light switch and without the usual cluster of wires,” said BU Engineering Professor Thomas Little. “This could be done with an LED-based communications network that also provides light – all over existing power lines with low power consumption, high reliability and no electromagnetic interference. Ultimately, the system is expected to be applicable from existing illumination devices, like swapping light bulbs for LEDs.”

As far as green technology goes, this is an amazing prospect – I am interested to see what wavelengths they decide to exhaust first, and what the rates of transmission would be.

Along with communication technology, the article mentions automobile safety:

“This technology has many implications for automobile safety,” Little said. “Brake lights already use LEDs, so it’s not a stretch to outfit an automobile with a sensor that detects the brake lights of the car in front of it and either alerts an inattentive driver or actively slows the car.”