Science

“Smart glass” windows could alter sunlight to replace Wi-Fi

We’ve already seen methods that wirelessly transmit information through patterns of flickering gentle. A Saudi Arabian workforce has created a much less energy-intensive various, that could use modulated sunlight instead of conventional Wi-Fi.

Currently in improvement on the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the system makes use of “smart glass” components often called Dual-cell Liquid Crystal Shutters (DLSs). These quickly alter the polarity of sunlight passing by way of them, and could conceivably be used within the plate glass windows of huge rooms corresponding to places of work.

The back-and-forth adjustments in polarity serve the identical function because the 1s and 0s in binary code, and are reportedly not perceptible to the human eye … though exams have proven that they can be detected and decoded by smartphone cameras. By distinction, adjustments within the depth of synthetic gentle – utilized in another proposed methods – might be visually perceived as an disagreeable flickering impact if the frequency of the adjustments is just too low.

Importantly, whereas conventional Wi-Fi routers use between 5 and 20 watts of electrical energy, the DLSs use simply 1 watt. According to the scientists, this quantity could be provided by a small photo voltaic panel. Of course the system would solely work whereas the solar was shining, so it may be used to save power throughout the day, with the Wi-Fi kicking in as soon as the solar had set.

Calculations point out that within the setup’s current kind, it could transmit information at a rate of 16 kilobits per second – however that is simply in the meanwhile.

“We are now ordering the necessary hardware for a testbed prototype implementation,” mentioned the lead scientist, Assoc. Prof. Basem Shihada. “We would like to increase the data rates from kilobits to mega- and gigabits per second.”

A paper on the analysis was not too long ago revealed within the journal IEEE Photonics.

Source: KAUST through AlphaGalileo

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