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Note that a collision occurs if there are multiple nodes transmitting in the same time slot.
The transmitting part of the device consists of 16 vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs), lasers that emit light from the face of a semiconductor chip rather than from the cleaved edge of the chip.
This results in a waste of bandwidth, transmitting data where it is not needed.
Because it is relatively slow and can be used only for communicating random bits, the apparatus is best suited for transmitting cryptographic keys.
The Brandeis and AT&T group has come up with a transmitting positron reemission microscope, in which positions filter through the sample and come out the other side, while the Michigan team has developed a microscope that measures positrons that penetrate a sample's first 10 or 20 molecular layers and then are reflected back out the same side they entered.
Forthcoming wireless multi-hop networks such as ad hoc and sensor networks will allow network nodes to control the communication topology by choosing their transmitting ranges.