A breakthrough new kind of wireless Internet http://www.ted.com/talks/harald_haas_a_breakthrough_new_kind_of_wireless_internet
So I was browsing through TED this morning and came across this gem. Haas (the inventor) claims he can get transmission speeds of 50+ mbits/second, which as he notes is better speed than most wireless systems.
There are two ways the system works.
Microfluctuations in existing light sources (street lights). The fluctuations are too small to be seen by the naked eye, and so would not impair visibility, but would allow for downstream communication from the light source to the device attached to the solar panel. Modern solar panels are sensitive enough to be able to both charge and receive data. What was most interesting to me was that fog or other blockage, while they reduced the energy received by the solar panel, did not stop or gravely impede the data flow. Anyway the implications of this for me is that if you had LED lights in your house, say a central light in each room, with a carrier signal for each light, the cameras on your phone and computer would surely be sensitive enough to allow for downstream data transmission.
Longer range laser pointers could paint houses from considerable distances, though he didn’t really clarify what those distances were 100 Yards? 500 Yards? A Mile? What is interesting is that while power absorbtion varies with angle, the demo claimed that data transmission did not, so if you could “paint” the panel from any angle which allows you to hit the photosensitive side, you can transmit data. This immediately suggests itself to me as a mesh solution, for line of sight between houses with solar panels. This is particularly true if they can get it to work with light frequencies which are not as obvious or as light-polluting as bright white.