Can We Transfer Data Through Light?

The arrival of the Internet has given infinite possibilities for the transmission of data. So much so that a research team has developed a new communication system using LEDs. How they did it?

Transfer Data Through Light

On October 22, 1879, Thomas Alva Edison was successful in lighting an incandescent light bulb through the use of electricity. In this way, he became the “official” inventor of electric light despite having based his project on more than twenty experiments carried out by other scientists.

More than a century has passed since that milestone in the world of technology, but what few knew was what light would be able to do in the 21st century, such as communication by LEDs.

At a speed of 2.2 Mb / s

This project has been carried out by a group of researchers, who have ensured the development of the world’s fastest visible light information transfer system: at 2.2 Mb / s.

VLCs, derived from the term ‘Visible Light Communication’, is transmitting media that need light to function. This advance can be of great help for the development of other projects related to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Many will ask why this high speed is due and the answer lies in the use of a type of organic light-emitting diodes. To be exact, they used emitters with OLED technology that had a wide spectral range.

What is LED communication?

Communication through light (VLC) is a form of optical transmission that consists of transmitting frequencies ranging from 400 to 800 THz, called the visible spectrum.

The purpose of this system is to send information through lighting. Years ago, the first steps were with lamps that used fluorescent light and later on, LEDs were used due to the speed they have when turning on and off.

These projects have produced good results. For example, in 2011, Harald Hass, a professor at the University of Edinburgh, managed to reproduce a video at a transmission speed of 10 Mb / s using a gooseneck.

The prototype he showed was called D-Light and was intended to be a complement to the Wi-Fi connection in environments such as aeroplanes, land vehicles and it can even serve as an Internet access point in public lighting.

This technology would be a great step towards the future of the IoT since it could be applied in our homes and even in our smartphones. And most importantly, it would be a cheap and sustainable technology. The communication speed for LEDs is expected to be between 100 Mb / s and 1 Gb / s.