Laser Pointers Power a 1Gbps Wireless Network

LasersLaser pointers at the cutting edge of innovation? Quite possibly.

A team of engineers from the National Taipei University of Technology in Taiwan has managed to transmit data using red and green laser pointers.

It’s an outstanding achievement because it transmits twice as fast as USB or a Wi-Fi router, is cost-effective, and can be used in places where radio transmitters aren’t allowed, like airplanes and hospitals.

How do they do it?

In a $600 experiment, engineers used red and green laser pointers. They wired them for a 500Mbps data stream, and pointed them to a photodiode receptor/light-sensitive detector 10 meters away. The signals were amplified, then multiplexed to reach a 1Gbps data stream.

Hai-Han Lu, the project manager, said that “Hobbyists could do this at home” because it’s simple and cheap. Even if such laser networks work only indoor, the experiment demonstrates fascinating potential.

Photo Credit: LaserFest