Researchers have developed a connected glass capable of transmitting data using sunlight. Very energy-efficient, this technology could replace Wi-Fi, at least during the day…
At a time when the government wants to turn off Wi-Fi at night, a new technology could offer an alternative for wireless connection and significantly reduce electricity consumption. Researchers from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia have created WindowsWindows able to create a wireless network using the lightlight from SunSun, thanks to connected glass. They presented their invention in the magazine IEEE Photonics.
Data transmission by light is not a new idea. Last year, Oledcomm even presented a Li-Fi chip small enough to be integrated into a smartphone. However, here there would be no light-emitting device, since these connected windows directly modulate the sunlight.
Data transmitted by polarized light
The technology is based on shuttersshutters double-cells with crystals liquidsliquids (Dual-cell Liquid Crystal Shutters or DLS) transparenttransparent integrated directly into the glass. Unlike Li-Fi, which encodes data in the intensity of light emitted, DLS change the polarization of light passing through them. This modulation would not be perceptible to theeyeeye naked, but could be detected and decoded by a smartphone camera. Since these windows do not emit light, they consume only one wattwatt and could therefore be powered by a small solar panelsolar panel. For comparison, Wi-Fi consumes between 5 and 20 watts.
At present, the speedspeed transmission is limited to only 16 kilobits per second. However, the researchers hope to improve it to reach a speed of megabits or gigabits per second. The main weak point of connected windows is that they only work during the day. However, they could be used in offices, supplemented by Wi-Fi when it is dark.