Implanted lights as a means of communicating with an external device?

(edit: strange, the post didn't get posted. I'll rewrite it)
Has anyone implanted LEDs with any success - would it shine through the skin with enough strength to be picked up by a sensor? More usefully, would an infrared light be able to do the same? If either of these are true then we can fabricate a sensor that can be used to communicate I/O with, for instance, a smartphone.


  • altho i have no experience with implanted led's, using led's to transmit data is a topic where i have lots of experience.

    it really just is a matter of range and speed. simply crossing the skin is no problem. (not sure with IR light, as skin reflects it very well, but red should work pretty ok).

    if you have a pretty strong transmitter on your desk, then an implant should be able to pick up the signal quite ok.
    transmitting from the implant to your desk is more tricky as the skin diffuses the light. you may need to get move receiver diode pretty close to the implant to make it read properly.

    easy way to test: get some IR transceivers, lift up some skin from your arm, try to transmit through it.

    the good news, if you go with red light on close distance, you can push data rates to about 10 to 20Mbit/s without too much effort. taking some trouble and circuitry, even 3digit mbitrates and more are possible.

    I guess you'd want to use LED's of around this wavelength, roughly 600-900 nm. It's not a perfect transparency, but it should allow enough through to transmit data. There might even be a company producing them for similar applications.
  • now that's what i call a good base to start working :)
    that's red/darkred. that's pretty easy. led's and pin-diodes are readily available for that wavelength. so are irDA endecs. that should be pretty easy. definetly worth a try.
  • edited April 2012
    Excellent, thank you for the heads up.
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