With telecommunications growing by leaps and bounds, the world has already started looking forward to the introduction of 6G. With 5G yet to flourish completely and show its capabilities across domains, research on 6G communications have already started. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst feel that the human body is the way forward to power the new technology in the face of 6G. Scientists firmly believe that the human body can harvest energy and it can be a way to look forward to the new era of wireless technology. The ideas and claims are very early given that with 5G, researchers haven’t even scratched the surface.
Visible light communications: The next big thing?
The information first surfaced in a press release from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where they announced their most recent achievements in their research. Visible Light Communications (VLC) is the next big thing in communication technology as we know it, according to the University. However, the idea of using visible lights as a means of data transfer must first be shown to be practical for large-scale corporate operations.
“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. Part of the appeal of VLC is that the infrastructure is already everywhere—our homes, vehicles, streetlights, and offices are all lit by LED bulbs, which could also be transmitting data. Anything with a camera, like our smartphones, tablets, or laptops, could be the receiver”, says Jie Xiong, Information and Computer Sciences professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in their statement about the development of 6G technology.
A Human Network of hotspots?
This technology could also allow people to transmit data simply by being near a 6G receiver, eliminating the need for traditional infrastructure such as cell towers and WiFi routers. It would also allow for faster and more reliable connections in remote and hard-to-reach areas where traditional infrastructure may not be present. The first human antennas were volunteer test subjects, each fitted with a small implant that connected to their nervous system. They were able to transmit data just by being near a 6G receiver, effectively turning their bodies into walking hotspots.
Interestingly, Mr. Xiong along with Minhao Cui, a student at the University of Massachusetts has put a paper against the scalability of VLC systems due to a significant leak due to LEDs and Radio Waves interceptions. Though, during the research, it has been established that with the correct design of copper coils in order to collect the maximum energy this loss can be minimized to an acceptable level and VLC might just be ready to go ahead for practical usage at scale. The team has also designed different antennas to make sure that they can be fitted on a human body, if needed, without causing a lot of harm to them. It includes designs such as a ring or a bracelet. However, there were also negative experiences in this imagined scenario. One volunteer had a severe allergic reaction to the device and began to experience headaches and fatigue.
Summing It Up
What everyone is going to develop with this information and when it needs to scale is ready to be seen but it has become clear that with the new advent of technology every day, there is a need for more innovative ways to be found to transfer the data faster and live our life at a higher speed.x