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Future of Broadband: Where Data Is Broadcast Using Desk Lamps

In the future, getting a broadband connection might be as simple as flipping on a light switch. In fact, according to a group of researchers from Germany, the light coming from the lamps in your home could one day encode a wireless broadband signal.

As of now, the majority of wireless in homes and businesses is achieved through a radio-frequency WiFi connection. But WiFi has limited bandwidth, and it’s unclear where to find more in the already-crowded radio spectrum. By contrast, visible-frequency wireless has all the bandwidth one could want.

The signal would be generated in a room by slightly flickering all the lights in unison. No one would be bothered by this because the rate of modulation would be millions of times faster than a human eye can see. Since visible light can’t go through walls like radio, there would be no unwanted interference from stray signals and less worry of outside hackers. Continue reading.

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