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What are the current applications for infrared wireless?

What are the current applications for infrared wireless? Is this still something I should consider among my wireless options, or is it old hat now? Can you give me examples of infrared designs, placements of the various devices, etc? I'd be grateful for any information, especially the maximum distance of receiving computers, and angles sufficient for the reception of infrared, and so on.

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According the Infrared Data Association, devices based on the IrDA standard have a range of one to two meters, and a maximum operating angle of 30 degrees. The current IrDA standard specifies data rates up to 16 Mbps, although actual rates depend on products. IrDA usage is largely influenced by distance and the requirement for line-of-site (non-obstructed) lightwave transmission between devices. As a result, you won't find IrDA being used to create wireless LANs. You'll largely find IrDA used for short point-to-point connections between devices like laptops and printers, cell phones, cameras, and remote controllers. To learn more about IrDA, visit the IrDA Web site.

This was first published in May 2004

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