Wifi on Light
Imagine your webpage, or game or anything connected to a wifi loads 100 times faster. It’s even worse when you have several devices connected to a single source of WiFi – it just clogs up the connection making everything slow.
The Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have come up with a solution: a wireless network based on harmless infrared rays. According to researchers the capacity is huge – more than 40Gbit/s per ray. With this technology, every device gets their own ray of light – so there is no need to share a single connection.
According to the research, it is “simple and, in principle, cheap to set up. The wireless data comes from a few central ‘light antennas’, for instance mounted on the ceiling, which are able to very precisely direct the rays of light supplied by an optical fiber. Since there are no moving parts, it is maintenance-free and needs no power.” It also eliminates interference from neighbouring WiFi networks.
As the infrared wavelength is used, it wouldn’t reach the vulnerable retina in your eyes, making it harmless to human. When a device moves out the light antenna’s range, a different light antenna takes over – so users are not fixed to a single spot.
According to Koonen, the research is about 5 years from hitting commercial shelves. He speculates that the first devices to be connected with this technology will be high data consumers like video monitors, laptops or tablets.
This research was carried out by TU/e researcher Joanne Oh, who received a ‘cum laude’ distinction for her PhD researching this subject. The research is part of the wider BROWSE project led by professor of broadband communication technology Ton Koonen, with funding from the European Research Council. Other projects focuses on technology that tracks the location of all the wireless devices as well as on the essential central fiber-optic network connecting the light antennas.