A professor of electrical engineering at Penn. State and his research team managed to get an infrared signal to transmit data at 1Gbps. Optical networks have a host of potential advantages over traditional radio networks such as more security, less interference, and obviously speed.
Penn State graduate student Jarir Fadullah along with his electrical engineering professor Mohsen Kavehrad developed the system. In a nutshell, a modulating beam of infrared light was focused on the ceiling, while a specifically modified photo detector picked up the reflections.
The research pair seemed to think that by their calculations, there is much more bandwidth to be found using infrared light. The new technology is touted as the future of wireless communications as the RF spectrum continues to be gobbled up and overly congested.