Researchers at Oxford University are developing a new wireless networking technology that uses light to beam information through the air at more than 100 gigabits per second (Gbps). It’s actually a system that takes light from the fiber, amplifies it, and beams it across a room to deliver data at more than 100 gigabits per second. This means that you are going to send and receive data through light.
The researchers, led by photonics engineer Dominic O’Brien, have developed a system that uses a base station installed on the ceiling of a room to send and receive light signals from a computer. This high speed network technology is being developed as a potential alternative to Wi-Fi, and because it uses visible light spectrum to transmit data, when coupled with a high-speed fiber internet connection, researchers believe this can offer speeds far greater than attained by existing contemporary Wi-Fi technology (600Mbps).
According to IEEE Spectrum the technology works at distances of up to 3 metres, but the system requires a direct line of sight, and for now the receiver must be in a fixed position. You’ll only be able to use this network in one block or room because beaming data through walls would be out of the question. With the limitations of angle and placement researchers also tested it with a 60° field of view, the team was able to transmit six different wavelengths, each at 37.4 Gb/s, for an aggregate bandwidth of 224 Gb/s. With a 36° field of view, they managed only three channels, for 112 Gb/s.
O’Brien’s work is part of a larger effort to develop light-based wireless communications (known as LiFi), which uses the light that is already illuminating a room to send data signals. This whole new system will definitely change the way we consume data in future. Now we just have to wait for its release. One thing to make sure is that this network can still take not months but years till its final public release because it’s in the earliest stage. So you have to wait a lot more.
O’Brien’s research is published in a paper entitled ‘IEEE Photonics Technology Letters’, which is available here.