Disney researchers create LED lights that communicate

Typically, if you want devices to communicate with each other you use Bluetooth or WiFi networks to do it. The problem is that WiFi networks aren't always available and Bluetooth drains your battery quickly. Those facts led researchers at Disney to look for new ways to allow objects with LED lights embedded to communicate with each other.

This investigation led to the development of LED lights that can communicate with each other. As you might imagine, the Disney researchers aimed their creation at toys for the most part. The LEDs are able to detect light like a photodiode as effectively as they are able to produce light.

Disney calls its system Visible Light Communication and examples of the first products made using the technology include a toy car that can turn on its own lights and come to life when placed near a lamp. Another example is a little girls dress up outfit that can activate flashing LED lights when a wand with its own light is placed near.

However, the technology has other potential as well with an adapter connected to the headphone port of a smartphone or tablet able to receive signals from overhead LED lights operating at wavelengths invisible to the human eye. This opens the door for LED emitters to be placed around a store to beam notifications to the smartphones of shoppers and the tech to do so could be easier to roll out than NFC.

SOURCE: Gizmodo