Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Light based communication networks


I attended the talk by the Talking Lights company at the MIT Media Lab. They work on light based communication networks associating information with specific locations in a building and then use that information to guide, monitor and get information to people as they move from place to place. I was fascinated by their inexpensive way to enable context aware computing and the idea of associating information in a building directly through the components already existing in the building, in this case a common light source.

So for instance, a person wears a box-link (basically a photodyode with Bluetooth) so that the system knows precisely where this person is located. The communication between the box-link and the building is created by modulating the light from an ordinary light fixture to encode information. Where GPS technology does not operate accurately and Wifi triangulation does not “detect” walls, the signal in Talking Light is constrained by walls, offering a more precise indoor localization. As the user moves in the building there is a discrimination between light sources in the area. It takes the maximum amplitude, e.g. last light, last amplitude. The light can also transmit radio quality audio, even thought this is can be done through power lines.

Also the company offers researchers the possibility to outfit lights with the communication capability or to create multi-light network for application -> here <-

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure

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