Visible Light-Based Communication

Almost everyone has an iPhone or Android nowadays and, because of this, other “smart” gadgets, such as fitness trackers and watches, have also become popular. These often use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to run wireless data, but a new form of tech could soon take their place. Called “visible light communication” (VLC), it works by having visible light send information. Problems arise, however, when the light is blocked or the area is dark.

Now, researchers at Dartmouth have found a way for light-based messages to travel in poorly illuminated environments. A study entitled “The DarkLight Rises: Visible Light Communication in the Dark” demonstrates how light can transmit data by utilizing low luminance LEDs. This works by encoding the information on very short, practically undetectable light pulses through the use of low-cost LEDs and photodiodes, which can convert light into a current.

The DarkLight technology disproves the hypothesis that visible light communication needs, well, visible light beams in order to function. One previously impossible application of DarkLight is to send data over phones. In this situation, one could transmit information to another mobile device in the area by using their phone’s flashlight. No light beam would actually be shone, however. Since visible light quickly deteriorates over distances, information sent over in this manor would receive an extra level of security.

Xia Zhou, principal investigator of the study, was quoted in Science Daily as saying, “DarkLight shows new possibilities on what visible light alone can do. We believe there are a lot more interesting applications yet to come.”

Prior to studying visible light, scientists need to ensure that their devices are emitting the right kind. In order to guarantee that yours are shining at the correct luminance, contact Konica Minolta Sensing today. With a wide range of light measurement products, you’re sure to find the perfect piece of technology for your purposes. When it comes to advances in visible light communication, don’t get left out in the dark. Let Konica Minolta Sensing help you find the light.

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