Data transmission via visible light is no longer a technological novelty, but it has yet to make its way into consumer's hands. Japanese firm Outstanding Technology is aiming to change that with its Commulight location system, which relies on a pair of receivers to get smartphones and tablets downloading info using photons instead of radio waves. One dongle is of the USB variety, but since most mobile gadgets lack such a socket, there's another that plugs into any device's 3.5mm jack. Each employs a sensor that grabs relevant location-based info from an overhead data-transmitting LED light. According to its maker, Commulight's destined for use as a way to give museum goers exhibit info, to transmit coupons, and even provide precision indoor location services more accurate than GPS or WiFi. Want to know more? Check out the video of tech in action after the break.
Aerial drone designers have been pushing hard to get devices that can stay airborne for days. After all, what's the point of having an observer that routinely lets its guard down? Lockheed Martin must have this question forever etched in its collective mind, as it just completed tests of a modified Stalker drone that was continually charged by laser power beamed from a ground-based source. The LaserMotive-built test was admittedly conducted in a wind tunnel, not a wind-swept battlefield, but it kept the drone aloft for more than 48 hours and was so efficient that it might even have gone indefinitely, if it weren't for staff intentionally bringing the trial to a halt. The true test is coming next, when Lockheed Martin and LaserMotive fly the drone on laser power outdoors. Should the Stalker sail the friendly skies for long enough, it could help usher in an era of UAVs that can spot intruders at all hours -- a little too close to the aircraft's name for comfort, perhaps, but potentially vital for Special Operations troops that might not have to put themselves in danger. You can check the underpinnings of both the laser power system and the Stalker in videos after the break.