Wednesday, December 2, 2015

What's Old is New Again

In an article about an Estonian company the CSM states:

 Velmenni, an Estonian tech company that has installed Li-Fi in its offices, says that the technology has achieved speeds of up to 224 gigabits per second in the lab and 1 gigabit per second in real life, where transmissions must contend with other factors such as movement and interference from other light sources. An office or industrial park could be outfitted with smart LED bulbs that could send data and provide illumination simultaneously

Well 50 years ago we called this optical communications. I even did a PhD in the area back then and a colleague connected two mountains in New Hampshire, Wildcat and  Mt Washington, optically back in the 60s.

One of the problems with optical is that it does not bend. Now the CSM states:

There’s a catch, though: Because light can’t pass through walls or other obstacles, a Li-Fi access point can cover only a single room. That means multiple smart LEDs will be needed to cover an apartment or a house with speedy wireless coverage. But on the other hand, wireless interference will be greatly reduced.

WiFi does not go "through" walls as well. It does refract and it does reflect, thus having multipath to work with, something I did some 40+ years ago.

So what is new here? In my opinion not much. So why the outbursts from the media? I guess they just do not understand. It does fill up pages.