A Penn State graduate student and professor have built a system that transmits wireless data at 1Gbps over infrared light. And they think it can go even faster.
Just last month, we saw Siemens get to 500Mbps streaming using white LEDs, but this infrared solution works at twice that speed:
Their setup sent data across a room by modulating a beam of infrared light that was focused on the ceiling and picking up the reflections using a specially modified photodetector. The pair says that their measurements show the system could support data rates "well beyond" the one gigabit per second they are currently claiming.
While there are some hurdles to overcome before optical wireless networks become commonplace, the professor who guided the project believes that if the technology continues to develop at its current pace, we could see a practical application within three years. [PSU via Technology Review]