Smart windows that can polarize sunlight could be a low-power alternative to Wi-Fi, Saudi researchers say.
Dual-element liquid crystal shutters (DLS) change the polarity of sunlight passing through them.
KAUST University researchers have developed an intelligent glass system, writes Alpha Galileo. It modulates the sunlight passing through it and encodes information that is then picked up by devices in the room. Using sunlight to send data will provide a greener way to communicate compared to regular Wi-Fi, the scientists say.
The team has now developed a two-part solar light communication system. “There is a light modulator that can be placed in a glass surface and a receiver built into the room,” says researcher Osama Amin. “The modulator is a set of intelligent glass elements we propose, known as dual-element liquid crystal shutters (DLS).” An array of liquid crystal gates, which will act as a filter for encoding signals into transmitted light, will require only 1 watt of power to operate. A small solar panel is suitable for recharge.
“The communication system works by changing the polarization of the incoming sunlight on the side of the modulator. The receiver can detect this change in order to decode the transmitted data, ”the specialist clarifies.
According to the calculations of scientists, the installation they created will be able to transmit data at a speed of 16 kilobits per second. Now they are ordering the necessary equipment to implement a test prototype. In the future, they plan to increase data transfer rates from kilobits to megabits and gigabits per second.