LED displays to power wireless communication technology
A team of Scottish researchers has come up with a new technique, that allows LED displays to broadcast wireless signals for short range networking, that could eventually revolutionise certain devices.
The University of Strathclyde has been working with LED displays that use individual arrays of units that are the size of microns.
As with similar research conducted in Germany, the LED displays are primarily designed to allow for communication between moving motor vehicles and a wider network.
This would make it much easier to access high speed web connections from within a car, letting people use laptops, smartphones and other services while on the road.
It might also improve safety and reduce traffic, since it would mean that real time information could be relayed to all drivers about the conditions ahead.
The communication works relatively simply, since the LEDs can be programmed to flash on and off thousands of times a second, allowing for a receptor to then decode this signal and translate it into usable data.
The best aspect of this technology is that the LED displays can also be viewed by humans without any noticeable flickering, because the process occurs at a rate that is much faster than can be detected by the eye.
LED displays acting as wireless networks would not only be suitable for transport, but might end up appropriated in the living room. German researchers achieved data speeds of 800Mbps and the Scottish team should be able to go even faster.
The key problem is of course that light waves tend not to penetrate anything, so if it is foggy on the roads or something moves to block the LED display, the capabilities would be reduced or lost completely, which is something that researchers are having to contend with.