A new research centre at the University of California, Riverside hopes to find ways to connect the world through LED lighting.
The Centre for Ubiquitous Communication by Light, funded by a $3.5 million (£2.1 million) grant, will devise methods to use LEDs to communicate in homes, offices, airports and hospitals where radio frequency communication is prohibited.
"PDAs, HDTV, information kiosks, computers and laptops all can be interconnected wirelessly through visible light," commented Professor Zhengyuan Xu, the principal investigator and director of the new research centre.
Professor Xu believes existing LED lighting infrastructure may be combined with a wired data network such as Ethernet to build low-cost navigation and communication systems.
The project is expected to begin in January 2010 and will run for five years, while an advisory board will be established to bring experts and government officials on board.
Earlier this month, the University of California, Riverside established a new reactor at its Bourns College of Engineering as part of the development of its nanofabrication research centre.