Optical data communication isn’t new—there’s a good chance the data for this website was sent to you over a fiber-optic connection somewhere along the way. Even your TV uses optical data transmission in the form of infrared signals from your remote control. But, with consumer Li-Fi looking promising, many of us are developing a growing interest in the technology, and OpticSpy is here just in time to help.
OpticSpy is a small tool designed specifically to take a light signal and decode it. It connects to your computer via USB, and then displays the signal through the serial terminal. It can handle data transmissions up to 800 kbps, and has onboard gain and threshold adjustments, as well as a switch for inverting the polarity of the data stream. You can also connect OpticSpy directly to an Arduino, logic analyzer, or similar device to process the raw data.
The OpticSpy is currently in the crowdfunding stage on Crowd Supply, with a single unit costing $49. But, for $59 you can upgrade to the OpticSpy + Tomu Bundle, which allows you to experiment with transmitting and receiving data. The campaign ends March 31st, and orders are expected to ship in the beginning of May.