This past September, Harald Haas gave a TED talk on the subject of bridging the digital gap in the developing world via a networking technique referred to as "Li-Fi," in which data packets are sent wirelessly using nothing more than an array of LED lights and a solar panel. While primarily a proof-of-concept and nothing more at the moment, we think a technology along these lines might just be a great way to extend network connectivity to a much greater portion of the world's population—and it would use our already existing infrastructure to do so. Given our future energy needs combined with a rapidly diminishing supply of generative resources, a solution like this would seem ideal, as it addresses a couple of very real problems.
The video below explains all this better than we can. For an even closer look, head over to the Ted Talk's dedicated Web page.