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To date the Infrared Data Association (Ir DA) has standardised over 30 specifications that are widely implemented for cordless phones, printers, televisions and other devices.
With proper development and foresight, VLC could radically reinvent the future of telecommunications industry to create a situation where everybody benefits, with technological findings also being able to be back-engineered into existing technology.
The data transmission speeds of VLC systems are shown to be rapidly improving, with a frequency-modulated white LED being shown by Siemens researchers and the Heinrich Hertz Institute in Berlin to be capable of transmitting information over 5 meters at a rate of 500 Mbps, significantly faster than present Wi-Fi technologies (that can operate at rates of up to 150 Mbps).
Whilst visible light from LED systems and infrared emissions share similar frequency ranges, it is acknowledged that there are potential visual safety problems with using infrared for high rates of data transmission due to both the large energy emissions it would create and its invisibility, making suitably developed LED light data transmission a safer option for human eyes.
Radiofrequency/Microwave Communications At present the multiple use in buildings of the three independent WLAN frequency bands can often compromise information networks.
As noted by the Visible Light Communications Consortium (VLCC) which was formed in Japan in 2003 (and includes amongst its members Casio, NEC Corporation, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp and Toshiba), “…
visible light communication has characteristics to be ubiquitous, transmitted at ultra high speed and harmless for human body and electronic devices, compared to [emissions] by radio and infrared communications.” Such factors indicate that there is a strong need to ensure that VLC are at least as biologically friendly as the units they are designed to replace or supplement, and that they may offer a more sophisticated solution to the communications technology than is presently available.
An additional incentive at present is that, whilst free usage of radiowave and microwave wireless communications is restricted by law, VLC technologies do not, as yet, require licenses.
Lighting Types and VLC At present incandescent and fluorescent lamps are the predominant sources of artificial-lighting, with incandescent units being phased out under a strong drive by many governments worldwide to reduce energy wastage.
For published articles see News VLC systems are presently being developed by scientists seeking to create ultra high-speed, high security, biologically friendly communications networks that allow the creation and expansion of seamless computing applications using very large bandwidth high-frequency pulsed light instead of radiowaves and microwaves.
Such systems use modulated light wavelengths emitted (and received) by a variety of suitably adapted standard sources, such as indoor and outdoor lighting, displays, illuminated signs, televisions, computer screens, digital cameras and digital cameras on mobile phones for communication purposes, primarily through the use of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).