Why can't mobile phone LED flashlights be used to communicate in Morse code without the Internet in ...

Why can't mobile phone LED flashlights be used to communicate in Morse code without the Internet in times of emergencies?

It's an idea that been at the back of my mind a for a few months. No cellular signal or Internet means our phones are often useless and whilst I could flash the light on and off manually, I don't know Morse code and what if the receiver also does not know it? An app could, of course, use the LED light on my phone to transmit in Morse automatically if the receiver can understand it. Even better is if the receiver has the same app that "read" the light, or if too weak, a button on the screen could be pressed to match the light signals seen from my phone. This could work quite well over visible light distances and even signal to a passing helicopter.

But watching this TED Talk today by Harald Haas titled "Wireless data from every light bulb" you begin to realise you can speed the same process up and transmit a lot of data. I like the idea too of cars being able to communicate in this way with each other while they drive, all with less radio spectrum being used and at the same time still illuminating the road.

I'm sure there will be challenges too with this approach but it is quite shocking to hear about the efficiency waste behind the use of cell towers. It makes you realise that we drive and invest in a technology because it basically works, but it may not be the most efficient or environmentally friendly way of achieving the same ends. We had (still have) internal combustion engines, but we have discovered far more efficient and less environmentally damaging ways of achieving transport today. We need out-of-the-box thinkers and innovators, we need people to help make it happen, and we need to listen too.

Watch the TED Talk at http://bit.ly/2Bq9MmL


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