Your windows may soon produce wireless Internet connections powered by sunlight

Windows are quickly evolving into futuristic gateways.

The development of electricity-generating windows that might power our homes and technology is already underway thanks to Swiss scientists. But now, scientists in Saudi Arabia have created a technique that allows a wireless Internet signal to pass through specialized glass while being fueled by the Sun.

Professor Osama Amin, the project's chief researcher at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, told Euronews Next, "I believe that [in the future] smart contemporary office buildings with enormous glass windows would work with the Internet based on this technology."

The scientific team claims that they will be able to do "anything" if they are successful in achieving a high data rate.

With a broadband bandwidth of just 15–16 Kbps, their technique for using windows for Internet data transport is still in its infancy.

Since sensors need a modest data rate, he said, "the objective is to enhance that number dramatically, but for now, it can already be utilized for IoT applications."

"We're headed towards the smart home. And this should help any kind of sensor ".

Binary ones and zeros were created from sunlight.

So how does it function? Amin suggests thinking of a glass window as a modem.

The Saudi invention makes use of dual-cell liquid crystal shutters, which are components of smart glass, to transmit data utilizing the polarization of sunlight (DLS).

One of the characteristics of electromagnetic waves, like light, is electromagnetic polarization.

For instance, polarized sunglasses employ electromagnetic polarization to filter light. They reduce eyestrain and glare to enable vision that is safe and pleasant for the eyes by blocking reflected light and letting only needed light through.

Unpolarized light has many directions, but polarization organizes the directions such that some light may travel and others cannot, according to Amin.

How does this, however, apply to the Internet?

According to him, polarization enables the organization of sunlight into "a type of one-and-zero language, which is dictated by the original data entering via a LAN connection linked to the edge of the smart glass."

"We may get this WiFi signal after connecting a LAN wire to the router. In our method, the land cable will be linked to the glass' edge, acting as a transmitter for the land cable. To spread the signal, sunlight will be used in place of electricity ".

The wireless Internet data is sent to the devices in the room by the variation of light, which is invisible to the human eye.

"In essence, what we've created is a little gadget with a number of layers. Additionally, by simulating the transparency of the glass, these layers may alter the polarity of the light. And if you quickly alter the opacity, a flood of data results, "said PhD candidate Sahar Ammar, who took part in the study.

Are our gadgets equipped to connect to the Internet via glass?

Most wireless communication methods are based on either radio frequency communication or optical communication, which needs costly active light sources like lasers and light-emitting diodes that use a lot of energy (LEDs).

The Saudi system uses modulated LED light to transmit information, much like any other visible light communication (VLC) system.

The team's method, however, is novel since it also modifies the brightness of the sun while encoding Internet data in it via the opacity of glass, which can then be detected and decoded by devices in the room.

The devices that may profit from the solar-powered data transmission method must be specifically built to be able to recognize the polarized data.

However, makers of smartphone cameras are already working on creating gadgets that can interpret data provided in this manner.

The objective, he said, is to use sustainable sunlight as a green alternative for cellular communications.

In October, the study was published in the journal IEEE Photonic.