IR in cellular phones


Research a communications protocol of your choice and write it up what you find in a blog post.

Remember phones like this?

Siemens M65 made in Germany cool condition and test menu - YouTube

Phones like Siemens M65 (released 2004, back when phone design meant something) had a nifty little data transfer tool that worked through its infrared port. It’s an infrared data transfer tool. In the context of phones circa 2000-2007 data meant ringtones, pictures, photos, and maybe possibly word/excel documents.

How it worked

The way I remember the infrared port working is that you had to have another device’s infrared port attached near your port. Infrared light would basically transfer the data and that’s why having a direct line between two devices was needed. The distance wasn’t long at all, but the fact that you could transfer data was huge!

Cultural aspects

If the radio played 50 Cent, then you wanted that 50 ringtone on your phone for when someone called you (yes, people called each other back in the day). People cared about customization more than they do today. Especially on school grounds, where how P.I.M.P.’d your phone was mattered somewhat to your popularity.

In the future, IR was taken over by Bluetooth due to its many advantages and today we still use it along with Wi-Fi.


My knowledge of IR is purely from experience. I think that we often don’t know who made what and how. In the near future there probably should be a class for recent history in schools. We often don’t know the creators of bluetooth, wi-fi, phones, etc. Part of the reason is probably because there are several people responsible for the creation or standardization of a product.

As it turns out the tool was brought about by a standardization group called IrDA, or Infrared Data Association. It was a group made or agreed upon by 50 different companies. Apparently there are several protocols, not just one simple data transfer protocol or specification.

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