Need infrared devices to transmit data using the infrared frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum

Must have a device capable of understanding and translating incoming infrared signal  (just as a compatible device to listen to a radio broadcast).

All sending and receiving IR devices contain small, dark window called IR ports.


1.      Inside ports, transceivers (a combination of a receiver and transmitter) send and receive data using the IR frequency. 

2.      A deviceís CPU (central processing unit) sends the binary 0s and 1s to the software controlling the IR transmission process, that information is converted in to pulses of IR light.

3.      The software forwards the data to the deviceís transceiver, which is the IR signal to another IR port.

4.      The receiving deviceís IR software converts the infrared transmission back into binary digits.

5.      IR devices transmit the binary 0s and 1s according to a protocol set by the IrDA.

-         For high-data transmissions, such as from a laptop to a printer, both devices must be within a few feet of each other and the IR ports must be within each otherís line of site.

-         Depending on the IR software, a pulse of light could represent a digital one, while the absence of a pulse of light could represent a digital zero. High-speed IR devices donít actually transmit data in a serial string of 0s and 1s.  Rather, bits of data are sent in groups to speed up the transmission process.

To ensure interoperability between computers and peripheral devices such as printers, the nonprofit Infrared Data Association (IrDA) was created in 1993 to set IR standards. At the end of 1999, more than 150 million IrDA-enabled products were in use around the world. This number continues to grow and is expected to reach 1.3 billion in 2003.