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printed October 31, 2014
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Infrared

(IR)

Infrared is a line-of-sight wireless technology that uses a beam of invisible light to transmit information. This means that the infrared ports of both devices must be nearby and aimed at each other for a connection to succeed.

Infrared is the same technology used in most remote controls for home A/V gear such as TVs. Some smartphones are capable of controlling home A/V gear via infrared. Software that mimics a universal remote control is required, which may be included, or may need to be purchased from a third party and downloaded to the phone.

In early smartphones, from 2001 to 2007, infrared was also used for two-way exchange of data between phones, or between phones and computers. The main standard for this was IrDA.

See: IrDA

This functionality was then replaced by Bluetooth, which uses radio waves instead of light. Bluetooth is faster, more reliable, and more versatile than IrDA.

See: Bluetooth

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