When the term “data beaming” was coined, people can’t help but to think that there’s an actual beam between 2 devices that travels and carries the data across. In actual fact this does not happen unless you wear infrared-enabled night spectacles. This morning National (Matsushita) demonstrated the new Visible Light Communications technology (VLC) at the International Lighting Fair.
As the name suggests, instead of using invisible EM wave, visible light is now used to transfer data. The best part about this is that the data projector can also act as an indoor lighting source. You can identify the reception area visually, stand right below the light source and your PDA would start downloading files.
We do not have the exact data for the maximum speed of data transfer, but the VLC Consortium claimed that it is comparable to that on optical fiber (i.e. very fast). The organization also hopes to finalize the standard soon, and apply that to exhibitions (stand close to the display counter to download press release) as well as hospitals. As opposed to WiFi, the VLC would not interfere with pacemakers and other medical equipments. Kudos. — Sam Chan
Lighting Fair 2007 Report [Impress]