Friday, May 29, 2009

Spy Gadgets: Binoculars that transmit sound, image and video via Infrared LED

It seems the stuff of James Bond—a pair of spies on opposite rooftops exchanging information via binoculars. However, it’s real. The U.S. military is currently using binoculars equipped with USB and Ethernet adapters and receivers that are capable of beaming secure voice and video information. The LightSpeed system exploits free-space optics—the ability to pass data between two points via an optical beam. The method usually involves lasers, but this system uses eye-safe infrared LEDs, similar to those used in TV remotes, says Leo Volfson, president of Torrey Pines Logic, which created LightSpeed.

The device produces a beam that comes out of the right eye of the binocular. On the left side is a receiver. If you look at me and I look at you, we’ll be able to talk or send information. Range is determined by the strength of the optics. Unlike radio-wave transmissions, data transfer through the LED beam is undetectable.

For more information, go to the website at