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Harald Haas 談來自每個燈泡的無線傳輸資料

Harald Haas: Wireless data from every light bulb

 

Photo of three lions hunting on the Serengeti.

講者:Harald Haas

2011年7月演講,2011年8月在TEDGlobal 2011上線

 

翻譯:洪曉慧

編輯:朱學恆

簡繁轉換:洪曉慧

後製:洪曉慧

字幕影片後制:謝旻均

 

影片請按此下載

MAC及手持裝置版本請按此下載

閱讀中文字幕純文字版本

 

關於這場演講

如果世上每個燈泡也能同時傳輸資料呢?在TEDGlobal中,Harald Haas第一次公開展示一個確實能做到這一點的裝置。藉著來自單一LED的燈光,以快到人眼無法察覺的速度做微小改變,他可以傳輸比一座無線電塔更多的資料量-並用一種更有效率、更安全及更普及的方式來達成。

 

關於Harald Haas

Harald Haas是製造出同時具有通訊及照明功用的新型燈泡之幕後先鋒-這是一個利用光而非無線電波上網的裝置。

 

為什麼要聽他演講

想像一下,用你的車前燈來傳輸資料...或在一架飛機上安全地瀏覽網頁,只靠視線中的光線與網路連接。Harald Haas正致力於這方面的工作。身為一位在愛丁堡大學任教的工程學教授,Haas長久以來一直致力於研究電子資料訊號的傳輸方法,設計調變技術,使現有網路能容納更多的資料量。但他最近的工作跳脫了線路和無線電波領域,而藉著明暗轉換速度比人眼所見更快的LED燈泡來傳輸資料。

 

他將這個系統稱為D-Light,,使用叫做OFDM(正交分頻多工)的數學技巧,使它能以非常快的速度改變LED的輸出強度,而人眼無法看出其中變化(對人眼來說,燈泡僅是持續發光)。這個信號可由簡單的接收器接收。截至目前為止,Haas報告中提出的資料傳輸速率可達10Mb∕秒(比典型的寬頻連結更快),至今年底可達100Mb∕秒,未來傳輸速率將可能高達1GB∕秒。

 

他說:「它應該會相當便宜,因為它無所不在。使用的是來源免費的可見光光譜,你可以將現有照明設備當作基礎設施,將無線服務加於其上。」

 

「除了革命性的網路接收方式以外,這個技術將杜絕來自於無線網路路由器發射所造成的潛在有害電磁波污染,並提出了藉由路燈存取和傳輸,無所不在的無線網路這個未來展望。」

-蘇格蘭先驅報

 

Harald Haas的英語網上資料

Home: http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~hxh

 

[TED科技‧娛樂‧設計]

已有中譯字幕的TED影片目錄(繁體)(簡體)。請注意繁簡目錄是不一樣的。

 

Harald Haas 談來自每個燈泡的無線傳輸資料

你們知道人們在全球設置了140萬座無線電塔嗎?這些是基地台,我們也有超過50億台像這樣的設備,這是行動電話,我們每個月用這些手機傳輸超過600TB的資料,這個數字是6後面有14個零-非常大的數字。無線通訊已成為像水電一樣的公共設施,我們每天都會用到,我們將它用於日常生活、用於我們的私人生活、業務生活中,甚至有時在像這樣的場合中,因為一些合宜的理由,會有人很客氣的要求我們關上手機。正因為它的重要性,所以我決定研究跟這項科技有關的問題,因為它對我們生活來說已成為不可或缺的基礎。

 

其中一個問題是容量。我們傳輸無線數據的方式是使用電磁波-特別是無線電波。無線電波是有限的,它們稀少且昂貴,我們只擁有特定範圍內的電磁波,這種限制使我們無法應付無線數據傳輸所需,及每個月所傳輸的位元數和資料量,這些資料量即將耗盡電磁光譜的容量。還有另一個問題,就是效能。這140萬座無線電塔或基地台,消耗了很多能量,請注意,大部分能量不是用來傳輸無線電波,而是用來冷卻基地台,這使得基地台的效能只有5%左右,這造成了一個大問題。還有另一個你們都知道的問題,在飛機上你必須關掉手機,在醫院裡,它會造成安全上的問題;另一個問題是安全性,這些無線電波可以穿透牆壁,可以被攔截,心懷不軌的人可以藉此利用你的網路。

 

因此,這是四個主要問題。但另一方面,我們擁有140億個這像這樣的東西,燈泡,即光,光屬於電磁光譜的一部分,因此,我們來看看整個電磁光譜的情形。其中有伽瑪射線,你不會想接近伽瑪射線,它可能會帶來危險;X射線,在醫院中有廣泛用途;還有紫外光,對曬黑來說很有用,但對人體來說有危險性;紅外線-基於對人眼安全的規定,你只能使用低功率的紅外線;然後是無線電波,它們的問題我剛剛提過了。中間部份屬於可見光光譜,就是所謂的光。光已存在了千百萬年,事實上,它創造了人類、創造了生命,創造了所有有生命的東西,因此,本質上它使用起來是安全的,若能利用它來進行無線通訊,不是很棒嗎?

 

不僅如此,我將它與整個光譜做個比較,我將無線電磁光譜的大小跟可見光光譜做個比較,你猜結果如何?我們可使用的光譜大小是原先的10000倍以上,因此,不僅擁有如此大範圍的光譜,再將它們與我剛剛提過的數字做個比較,我們已經設置了140萬座昂貴、低效率的無線電基地台,將它乘以10000,結果是140億,140億正好是已裝設的燈泡數量,因此,我們已經有了這些基礎設施。看看天花板,目光所及之處都是燈泡,進入主要樓層,也一樣看得見這些燈泡。

 

我們可以利用它們進行通訊嗎?是的。我們需要做些什麼?我們需要做的一件事,就是必須換下這些低效率的白熾燈泡、螢光燈,用這種LED新科技燈泡代替。LED是一種半導體,是一種電子裝置,它有非常棒的敏銳性,我們可用非常高的速度調整它的強度,也可用非常高的速度將它關閉,這是一個我們正使用一些技術探索的基本性質,我來展示一下我們是如何進行的。我們用與可見光譜最相關的裝置來看-遙控器,大家都知道遙控器有一個紅外線LED,基本上你打開LED,然後將它關上,它會產生一個簡單、低速的資料串流,以每秒1萬或2萬位元的速度傳輸,對傳輸YouTube影片來說不是很有用。

 

我們所做的是,我們開發出一種技術,使我們能進一步用燈泡來取代遙控器,使用我們的技術所傳輸的,不僅是單一的資料串流,我們以更高的速度平行傳輸千萬筆資料串流,我們所開發的技術-就是所謂的SIM OFDM,它屬於一種空間調變-這是科技上的術語,我不打算詳細說明,但這就是我們用光源來傳輸資料的方法。

 

你們會說,「好吧,這很不錯-10分鐘做出一張幻燈片。」但不僅如此,我們所做的是,我們還開發了實物模型,這是我第一次在公開場合展示這個可見光實物模型裝置。這是一個普通的檯燈,我們將其裝上價值3美元的LED燈泡,並置入我們開發的信號處理技術。這裡有個小洞,光會穿過那個洞,洞中有個接收器,接收器會將我們製造出的變化微小的波動轉換成電子訊號,這些電子訊號會被轉換成高速資料串流,我們希望未來能將這個小洞整合在智慧手機中,不僅是整合一個光感測器,也許我們會在其中裝置一台相機。

 

那麼,當我打開光源時,會發生什麼事?正如你們所知,這是一束光源,一座檯燈,將書放在下方就可閱讀,它照亮了四周的空間,但同時,你可以看到這裡放映的這部影片,這是一部影片,一部藉由這束光源傳輸的高解析度影片,但你很有批判性,你會想,「哈,哈,哈,這是用一點聰明的把戲呈現出的理論上做法。」不過,讓我這麼做吧!

 

(掌聲)

 

再一次,還是不相信?正是這個光源以資料串流傳輸這部高解析度影片。如果你觀察這個光源,它依然如常的照耀著,以人類肉眼無法注意到它有何變化,你察覺不出我們施加在燈泡光波振幅中的細微變化,它可滿足燈光的照明功用,但同時也可用來傳輸資料。你可以看到,即使有來自天花板照射到接收器的燈光,它會忽略那不變的光源,因為接收器偵測的只是其中微妙的變化。你或許也會想到一個重要的問題,你會說,「好吧,我需要一直開著燈才能讓它運作這個功能嗎?」答案是肯定的,但你可以將光線轉暗到幾乎熄滅的程度,它仍然能傳輸資料-這是可行的。

 

所以,我提過有四個挑戰,容量:我們現在擁有10000倍的光譜範圍,已經裝設的LED數量是目前基礎設施的10000倍,希望你們同意我的看法,這就解決容量的問題了。效能:這是藉由照明傳輸資料-重點在於照明設備,如果以能源預算來說,這個資料傳輸是免費的,這是高效能的裝置,我就不提這些LED燈泡有多節能了。如果全世界都裝設這些LED燈泡,我們就能省下數百座發電廠,這是題外話。

 

我還提過適用性,你們都知道醫院中有燈光,你們只需要瞭解該怎麼利用它。飛機上也有燈光,每個地方都有燈光,環顧四周,燈光無所不在,看看你的智慧手機,上面有手電筒,LED手電筒,這些都是可用於高速資料傳輸的潛在資源。

 

還有安全性,你會同意我的說法,燈光不會穿透牆壁,如果我這裡有光源,如果我有需保密的資料,在這房間的另一頭沒人能隔牆讀取這些資料,只有在有光的地方才能讀取這些資料,所以,如果我不希望接收器接收這些資料,我能怎麼做?我可以把它轉開,所以資料轉向那個方向,不在這裡了,現在我們可以真正看到資料的流向。

 

所以對我來說,此刻這個技術的應用範圍是超乎想像的。我們有上百名非常優秀、聰明的應用程式開發人員,你只需要瞭解,只要是有燈光的地方,就有傳輸資料的潛在方式,但我可以提出幾個例子,讓你們看看它目前所帶來的影響。這是一輛潛入海底、以遙控操作的車,它用光來照亮海底的空間,這個光源可用來傳輸無線資料,使這些裝置可以彼此通訊。

 

以這些石化工廠環境本身的安全性來說,你不能在其中使用無線電頻率,因為它可能使天線產生火花,但可以使用光-你可以看到,處處都有燈光。在醫院裡,可用於新型醫療設備;在街道上,可用於交通管制;汽車裝有LED頭燈、LED尾燈,汽車可藉此交換訊息,而防止意外發生;交通信號燈也可以與汽車通訊,以此類推。還有裝設在世界各地、數百萬計的路燈,每盞路燈都可以當做一個免費的存取點,事實上,我們稱之為Li-Fi,即光傳真。還有這些機艙,機艙中有數以百計的燈,每盞燈都可當作無線資料的潛在傳輸工具。所以,在長途飛行的回程中,你可以在飛機上享受最喜愛的TED影片,享受網路生活,因此我認為這是一個可能成真的願景。

 

因此,我們需要做的,就是將一個小微晶片裝在每一個潛在的照明設備中,這將使兩個基本功能結合在一起:照明及無線資料傳輸。我個人認為,這個相輔相成的技術可以解決我們目前在無線通訊方面面臨的四個基本問題。在未來,我們擁有的不僅是140億個燈泡,我們擁有的或許是裝設在世界各地、140億個Li-Fi,為了一個更潔淨、更環保、甚至更光明的未來。

 

謝謝。

 

(掌聲)

 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About this Talk

What if every light bulb in the world could also transmit data? At TEDGlobal, Harald Haas demonstrates, for the first time, a device that could do exactly that. By flickering the light from a single LED, a change too quick for the human eye to detect, he can transmit far more data than a cellular tower -- and do it in a way that's more efficient, secure and widespread.

About the Speaker

Harald Haas is the pioneer behind a new type of light bulb that can communicate as well as illuminate – access the Internet using light instead of radio waves. Full bio and more links

Transcript

Do you know that we have 1.4 million cellular radio masts deployed worldwide? And these are base stations. And we also have more than five billion of these devices here. These are cellular mobile phones. And with these mobile phones, we transmit more than 600 terabytes of data every month. This is a 6 with 14 zeroes -- a very large number. And wireless communications has become a utility like electricity and water. We use it everyday. We use it in our everyday lives now -- in our private lives, in our business lives. And we even have to be asked sometimes, very kindly, to switch off the mobile phone at events like this for good reasons. And it's this importance why I decided to look into the issues that this technology has, because it's so fundamental to our lives.

And one of the issues is capacity. The way we transmit wireless data is by using electromagnetic waves -- in particular, radio waves. And radio waves are limited. They are scarce; they are expensive; and we only have a certain range of it. And it's this limitation that doesn't cope with the demand of wireless data transmissions and the number of bytes and data which are transmitted every month. And they are simply running out of spectrum. There's another problem. That is efficiency. These 1.4 million cellular radio masts, or base stations, consume a lot of energy. And mind you, most of the energy is not used to transmit the radio waves, it is used to cool the base stations. Then the efficiency of such a base station is only at about five percent. And that creates a big problem. Then there's another issue that you're all aware of. You have to switch off your mobile phone during flights. In hospitals, they are security issues. And security is another issue. These radio waves penetrate through walls. They can be intercepted, and somebody can make use of your network if he has bad intentions.

So these are the main four issues. But on the other hand, we have 14 billion of these: light bulbs, light. And light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum. So let's look at this in the context of the entire electromagnetic spectrum, where we have gamma rays. You don't want to get close to gamma rays, it could be dangerous. X-rays, useful when you go to hospitals. Then there's ultraviolet light. it's good for a nice suntan, but otherwise dangerous for the human body. Infrared -- due to eye safety regulations, you can only use it with low power. And then we have the radio waves, they have the issues I've just mentioned. And in the middle there, we have this visible light spectrum. It's light, and light has been around for many millions of years. And in fact, it has created us, has created life, has created all the stuff of life. So it's inherently safe to use. And wouldn't it be great to use that for wireless communications.

Not only that, I compared it to the entire spectrum. I compared the radio waves spectrum -- the size of it -- with the size of the visible light spectrum. And guess what? We have 10,000 times more of that spectrum, which is there for us to use. So not only do we have this huge amount of spectrum, let's compare them with a number I've just mentioned. We have 1.4 million expensively deployed, inefficient radio cellular base stations. And multiply that by 10,000, then you end up at 14 billion. 14 billion is the number of light bulbs installed already. So we have the infrastructure there. Look at the ceiling, you see all these light bulbs. Go to the main floor, you see these light bulbs.

Can we use them for communications? Yes. What do we need to do? The one thing we need to do is we have to replace these inefficient incandescent light bulbs, florescent lights, with this new technology of LED, LED light bulbs. An LED is a semiconductor. It's an electronic device. And it has a very nice acute property. Its intensity can be modulated at very high speeds, and it can be switched off at very high speeds. And this is a fundamental basic property that we explored with our technology. So let's show how we do that. Let's go to the closest neighbor to the visible light spectrum -- go to remote controls. You all know remote controls have an infrared LED -- basically you switch on the LED, and if it's off, you switch it off. And it creates a simple, low-speed data stream in 10,000 bits per second, 20,000 bits per second. Not usable for a YouTube video.

What we have done is we have developed a technology with which we can furthermore replace the remote control of our light bulb. We transmit with our technology, not only a single data stream, we transmit thousands of data streams in parallel, at even higher speeds. And the technology we have developed -- it's called SIM OFDM. And it's spacial modulation -- these are the only technical terms, I'm not going into details -- but this is how we enabled that light source to transmit data.

You will say, "Okay, this is nice -- a slide created in 10 minutes." But not only that. What we've done is we have also developed a demonstrator. And I'm showing for the first time in public this visible light demonstrator. And what we have here is an ordinary desk lamp. We fit in an LED light bulb, worth three U.S. dollars, put in our signal processing technology. And then what we have here is a little hole. And the light goes through that hole. There's a receiver. The receiver will convert these little, subtle changes in the amplitude that we create there into an electrical signal. And that electrical signal is then converted back to a high-speed data stream. In the future we hope that we can integrate this little hole into these smart phones. And not only integrate a photo detector here, but maybe use the camera inside.

So what happens when I switch on that light? As you would expect, it's a light, a desk lamp. Put your book beneath it and you can read. It's illuminating the space. But at the same time, you see this video coming up here. And that's a video, a high-definition video that is transmitted through that light beam. You're critical. You think, "Ha, ha, ha. This is a smart academic doing a little bit of tricks here." But let me do this.

(Applause)

Once again. Still don't believe? It is this light that transmits this high-definition video in a split stream. And if you look at the light, it is illuminating as you would expect. You don't notice with your human eye. You don't notice the subtle changes in the amplitude that we impress onto this light bulb. It's serving the purpose of illumination, but at the same time, we are able to transmit this data. And you can just see, even light from the ceiling comes down here to the receiver. It can ignore that constant light, because all the receiver's interested in are subtle changes. You also have a critical question now and then. You say, "Okay, do I have to have the light on all the time to have this working?" And the answer is yes. But, you can dim down the light to a level that it appears to be off. And you are still able to transmit data -- that's possible.

So I've mentioned to you the four challenges. Capacity: We have 10,000 times more spectrum, 10,000 times more LEDs installed already in the infrastructure. You would agree with me, hopefully, there's no issue of capacity anymore. Efficiency: This is data through illumination -- it's first of all an illumination device. And if you do the energy budget, the data transmission comes for free -- highly energy efficient. I don't mention the high energy efficiency of these LED light bulbs. If the whole world would deploy them, you would save hundreds of power plants. That's aside.

And then I've mentioned the availability. You will agree with me that we have lights in the hospital. You need to see what to do. You have lights in an aircraft. So it's everywhere there is light. Look around. Everywhere. Look at your smart phone. It has a flashlight, an LED flashlight. These are potential sources for high-speed data transmission.

And then there's security. You would agree with me that light doesn't penetrate through walls. So no one, if I have a light here, if I have secure data, no one on the other side of this room through that wall would be able to read that data. And there's only data where there is light. So if I don't want that receiver to receive the data, then what I could do, turn it away. So the data goes in that direction, not there anymore. Now we can in fact see where the data is going to.

So for me, the applications of it, to me, are beyond imagination at the moment. We have had a century of very nice, smart application developers. And you only have to notice, where we have light, there is a potential way to transmit data. But I can give you a few examples. Well you may see the impact already now. This is a remote operated vehicle beneath the oceans. And they use light to illuminate space down there. And this light can be used to transmit wireless data that these things [use] to communicate with each other.

Intrinsically safe environments like this petrochemical plant -- you can't use RF, it may generate antenna sparks, but it can use light -- you see plenty of light there. In hospitals, for new medical instruments; in streets for traffic control. Cars have LED-based headlights, LED-based back lights, and cars can communicate with each other and prevent accidents in the way that they exchange information. Traffic lights can communicate to the car and so on. And then you have these millions of street lamps deployed around the world. And every street lamp would be a free access point. We call it, in fact, a Li-Fi, light-fidelity. And then we have these aircraft cabins. There are hundreds of lights in an aircraft cabin, and each of these lights could be a potential transmitter of wireless data. So you could enjoy your most favorite TED video on your long flight back home. Online life. So I think that is a vision that is possible.

So, all we would need to do is to fit a small microchip to every potential illumination device. And this would then combine two basic functionalities: illumination and wireless data transmission. And it's this symbiosis that I personally believe could solve the four essential problems that face us in wireless communication these days. And in the future, you would not only have 14 billion light bulbs, you may have 14 billion Li-Fis deployed worldwide -- for a cleaner, a greener, and even a brighter future.

Thank you.

(Applause)
 


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