Could Using Humans as Antennas Power the Future of 6G Telecommunications?

Popular Mechanics | Tim Newcomb | Jan 6, 2023

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The future of 6G telecommunications could come from Visible Light Communication.

  • We don’t yet know exactly how 6G wireless technology is going to work. But researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst believe using humans as antennas to power 6G may be the most viable way to harvest additional energy that would otherwise get wasted.
  • In the always-present effort to speed up informational exchange, scientists have already started investigating Visible Light Communication (VLC), basically a wireless version of fiberoptics, that uses flashes of light to transmit information.

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  • In the new study, the UMass Amherst scientists found that humans can play a crucial role in making VLC more efficient by using their bodies as a carrier for coiled copper to catch waste energy from VLC. Lead study author Jie Xiong, UMass Amherst professor of information and computer sciences, explains:

VLC is quite simple and interesting. Instead of using radio signals to send information wirelessly, it uses the light from LEDs that can turn on and off, up to one million times per second. LEDs bulbs can then transmit data, and “anything with a camera, like our smartphones, tablets, or laptops could be the receiver.

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