Chapter 7. Infrared

If you have ever used a remote control, you have used infrared technology. Infrared is a wireless communication technology that makes use of the invisible spectrum of light that is just beyond red in the visible spectrum. It's suitable for applications that require short-range, point-to-point data transfer. Because it uses light, line of sight is a prerequisite for using infrared. Despite this limitation, infrared is widely used in household equipment and is increasingly popular in devices such as digital cameras, PDAs, and notebook computers.

Founded in 1993 as a nonprofit organization, the Infrared Data Association (IrDA) is an international organization that creates and promotes interoperable, low-cost infrared data interconnection standards that allow users to point one device at another and have it just work. The Infrared Data Association standards support a broad range of appliances, computing, and communications devices.

The term IrDA is typically used to refer to the protocols for infrared communications, not exclusively to the nonprofit body.

In this chapter, I take a look at Windows XP's support for infrared and show how you can make use of it for your daily tasks.