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Oct 8, 2008

Researchers may soon make LEDs do double duty – light and wifi

That’s right. Pretty soon, computer users will soon have an potentially uninterrupted wireless connection thanks to the use of light emitting diodes (LEDS) as both lighting fixtures and wifi access points. The idea, funded by an $18.5m grant from the US National Science Foundation, is being studied by researchers of Boston University is essentially that because LEDs run so cool, and use so little power, that the remaining signal used by the LED for power can also be used as conduit for wireless access points.

And it’ll be pretty fast too, as data will be able to travel using visible light at up to 10 Mega bytes per second. And the best part is, the technology can be adapted using existing power lines, so there’s not need for investment in an expensive infrastructure.

And it makes a lot of sense. With today’s tech obsessed workers getting more mobile, and with smart phones actually just computer platforms with a cellphone connection, why wouldn’t it? Phone’s like the iPhone not only have cell connections, but also wifi access. More and more manufacturers are starting to see that people want to be more mobile and not chained to their desks. So, if Boston University can get this working, it could revolutionize the corporate workplace.
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