Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Led by L-E-D

PostedMarch 4, 2012

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Anchor Lede: Light emitting diodes, or L-E-Ds, are in lots of electronics…like computer screens and T-Vs. And they’re increasingly replacing traditional light bulbs. Soon they could have a surprising new use.

Randy Atkins: L-E-Ds might be used as a sort of indoor GPS says electrical engineer Aaron Ganick. He’s CEO of start-up ByteLight that’s turning light bulbs into wireless communication tools.

Aaron Ganick: It’s not just providing illumination, but it’s also sending you navigation instructions.

Randy Atkins: Ganick says his L-E-Ds screw into existing outlets and create light that looks normal to us, but is actually turning on and off very rapidly.

Aaron Ganick: This is happening above the rate which the human eye can see, but it’s slow enough such that a mobile device can actually see the modulation.

Randy Atkins: So the lights could send out digital information to a smart phone about your location as you browse a store and…

Aaron Ganick: …you could receive local deals or advertisements about items along the way that you might not have noticed.

Randy Atkins: With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.