Making light of wireless broadband

The wireless home networking wars got a little more interesting last month after Siemens broke the world record for wireless transmitting data by achieving speeds of 500 Mbps - using white LEDs instead of radio waves. Researchers at Siemens used Ostar LEDs, which are modulated at a frequency that allows for high-speed data transfers, to transmit data to a photodetector that converts light signals to electrical pulses. Siemens says that this so-called VLC (Visible Light Communication) technique isn't necessarily a competitor to Wi-Fi, and could in fact augment existing Wi-Fi networks by mitigating interference issues. For example, if neighboring Wi-Fi networks are causing interference problems, a VLC option could serve as a workaround, reports Network World.