Smart Lighting brings it all back to 1999

Boston University, home of the Fightin’ Aristocrats, is working on “Smart Lighting” that includes LED lights and a optical networking adapter. Each light works as its own access point and can mesh together for full in-home coverage. Instead of transmitted radio waves, the system pulses an LED to all an sundry, ensuring that outsiders can’t piggyback on your network and reducing the costs associated with wireless transmission. While I thought optical ports had gone the way of the Dodo, it’s clear someone out there still thinks they’re a potential method for high speed data communication – the system can transmit at about 10 mbps.

There are also plans for a car-to-car network using LEDs. I’m thinking no.

“This technology has many implications for automobile safety,” Little said. “Brake lights already use LEDs, so it’s not a stretch to outfit an automobile with a sensor that detects the brake lights of the car in front of it and either alerts an inattentive driver or actively slows the car.”