Transmitting Data Via LED Light

German research organization Fraunhofer is lighting up PCs

Who needs wires when you've got lightbulbs? The Fraunhofer's Heinrich Hertz Institute has uncovered a way for LED light to transmit broadband data, without the broadband wires, Gigaom.com reports.

The Institute claims it discovered a way to turn consumer quality LED lights into data transmitters capable of sending 3 Gbps. Simply putting a PC or internet enabled device beneath a radiant LED light will allow them to stream data at a high speed. Unfortunately, however, it only goes one way, so you can't send information. Great for streaming video though.

The other drawback, of course, is that once you take the device out of the light, it loses its connection. Not ideal for mobile data, but perfect for places like hospitals, the institute says, where data needs to be shared by certain people in certain locations.

How fast is 3 Gbps? By comparison, the speedy Google Fiber, which looks to be headed to Austin, TX soon, delivers only 1 Gbps. Three times as fast from a lightbulb? Could be the start of something good.

For other innovations in data delivery, see Fast Company's look at how the internet is getting faster.

[Image: Flickr user onstage lighting]

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