IrDA stands for Infrared Data Association. This is an organization that creates and develops communication standards for infrared technology. This organization was founded in the early 90s. It presently has a large managing body for a wide array of infrared-related hardware.

The expansion of infrared technology brought about the need for the standards made by the IrDA. The first line of infrared devices, primarily consisting of remote controls, could only send data. Bi-directional devices, on the other hand, have intricate designs capable of a two-way transfer of data. In response to this development, IrDA formed the standards which all developers and manufacturers adhere to.

The specifications of IrDA are classified in different levels. The Infrared Physical Layer Specification or IrPHY is the most basic level. This specification defines the angle limits, distance range, and speed range for an IrDA hardware.

The Infrared Link Access Protocol, or IrLAP, is the second level of the IrDA specifications. The IrLAP defines and draws out the means through which an infrared device would establish connection with another infrared device.

The Infrared Link Management Protocol, or IrLMP, is the third level of the IrDA specifications. This level defines and organizes the ways in which service providers can be listed. In addition, IrLMP also defines how data channels can be found.

The IrDA’s specifications are applied to a wide array of technologies. Printers are the most common hardware that use IrDA standards. Cameras and mobile phones are examples of portable devices that also use the IrDA specifications. Other products that apply these standards include smart cards provided by a number of banks.