Researchers have new WLAN technology that uses radio waves instead of optical connections. This transmission rates of around one gigabit per second are possible – which is about twice as fast as a wifi router.
Engineers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS) in Dresden have developed a technique that data with light may transfer – and not with radio waves, as in classical wifi networks. Now they have presented a first prototype. The device is able to play a movie with high resolution in real time via an optical link. The researchers hope to gain faster and more secure network connections.
“Li-Fi” is what the engineers their method. Here, a transmitter module sends invisible infrared pulses to a receiver in up to ten feet away. Contrast, classical wifi routers use much longer electromagnetic waves and often overlap with their wireless networks. “Data can collide, the transmission rate collapses,” says Michael Faulwaßer from IPMS, who helped develop the new technology.
Especially in factories clutter can be a problem. “Heavy equipment generates strong electromagnetic interference, some users get therefore no wifi built,” says Faulwaßer. Especially in industrial applications, it is of extreme importance to transmit data stable -. For example, to control machines exactly
Twice as fast as a wifi router
The prototype, the researchers have developed is to such interference immunity. It looks like two camera eyes that protrude from a black box. Staring at a counterpart in a few meters away; both cameras exchange data with each other. This transmission rates of around one gigabit per second are possible, which is about twice as fast as a wifi router.
In their test, the engineers were broadcasting a movie in HD quality on a laptop PC, where he was smoothly played. However, you hold your hand over one eye, breaking the transmission from a few seconds later. This technique, although impractical for your living room, but the researchers want anyway networking machinery in factories that are hardly moved
In addition to the speed of light has another advantage. “The data remain in the room,” says Faulwaßer. Since light scatter only slightly, no one else could get the information. A thin wall sufficient to shield it. This makes it difficult industrial espionage significantly.
Not only invisible infrared light, the room lighting can transmit data. In modern LED lights direct current flows, the researchers can control precisely. “We turn the power off and on quickly and shape it so that information,” says Volker Jungnickel the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications in Berlin. The lamp starts to flicker, but far too quickly to disrupt the human eye. Laptops and smartphones, the data do not recognize easily
The problem is that in mobile devices, there are currently almost no optical sensors;. the WLAN standard has prevailed. Upgrade LEDs for data transmission, is also expensive: An individually crafted transmitter costs a few hundred euros. Thus, the technique could also penetrate the mass market, would first have standards for the industry to be developed, says Jung nickel. This could take a few years.