KDDI Whips up Infrared on Steroids

It’s great that we live in an age where any wireless data transfer technology can be considered old school. We still use infrared technology in low-end technology such as TV remotes, but when is the last time you transferred files between two devices using IR? There is no question that Bluetooth has settled in nicely as the wireless data transfer technology of choice, and rightfully so. In terms of speed, reliability, and range, Bluetooth is far and away the better protocol. More and more mobile devices are also equipped with Wi-Fi, providing yet another means of speedy data transfer. Of course everything old is new again somewhere along the line and it looks like Japan-based KDDI is poised to give infrared a comeback stronger than 80’s fashion. KDDI’s research laboratories have reworked the components that facilitate infrared technology, swapping out the LEDs of old for semiconductor lasers that can blink at rates that would make any diode blush. Coupled with integrated memory to handle the increased throughput, the revamped technology is reported to transfer data at a blistering 1Gbps. In other words, it would take less than a second to transfer a full CD of music! KDDI also claims to have added a layer of much-needed stability that will make the revamped infrared protocol much more user friendly. This means that beyond improvements in transfer rate, the days when you had to initiate an infrared transfer four or five times before your tiny file would actually reach its destination are long gone. If KDDI’s infrared revision sees the light of day, it could mean big things for PCs and all types of mobile devices. All of the sudden those 16GB microSDHC cards on the horizon from SanDisk aren’t looking quite as spacious.

[Via S-F]

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