Right at the back of one of the halls I came across a small stand from with just a light and a small speaker in a box.
Easy to walk on by and miss it... but it was demonstrating possibly one of the most interesting things I've seen at a show for a long time - the transmission of music (and other data) by light.
We've been used to the idea of transmitting data by light for years, in the form of optical fibre... but this is something quite different; this is using just a regular light, in free space, in daylight.
Apparently the obstacles to overcome to achieve this are huge, and according to Bob Tal from Swiss 'LiFi' company SLUX, several large corporations (think Google, Disney. etc...) have been trying for ages, with only limited success over millimetre distances in laboratories.
SLUX have seemingly overcome these difficulties and have conducted tests transmitting music by light from a single LED across the English Channel - an impressive feat.
Here at Frankfurt was the first time the technology was demonstrated with a working system transmitting music by light. The system currently works reliably over several metres, and SLUX are working to expand the range further.
The data is transmitted by a hybrid of digital and analog modulations - I asked about multiplex and yes, they're working on multichannel systems for data comms too.
There are many possible advantages of using light as a transmission vector - reduction of 'electrosmog' as Bob referred to it, being just one.
And the potential of this technology would seem to be huge... I'm sure we'll see more of it soon.
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