E-mail through your lightbulb? It isn’t as as far-fetched as you might think. At Ceatec a group of Japanese IT companies unveiled proposals for using light emitting diodes – an upcoming standard for existing light fittings and traffic lights – to transmit data at high speeds over distances of up to 10 metres.
The concept is that in the future someone trapped in a room could point their mobile at a light bulb and rescuers would instantly be able to find out exactley where they are. Cars too could use the system to pass on information such as tipping other drivers off about upcoming incidents and traffic hold ups.
“Although there are no concrete plans right now for making it into a standard, some companies are very serious,” said Shinichiro Haruyama, a professor of information and computer science at Keio University.