By BizLED Bureau
May 23, 2017: The concept of Li-Fi first came into light when Prof Harald Haas introduced it four years back. Velmenni, an Estonian firm, used this technology to transmit data in an office environment. It was at speeds up to 1 gigabit per second, i.e., 100 times faster than the current Wi-Fi speeds. They combined the smart lighting system and internet connectivity for better revenue and saving energy.
What is Li-Fi?
Li-Fi is a new method of delivering data, which uses the visible spectrum rather than radio waves used in Wi-Fi. Compared to Wi-Fi, Li-Fi is faster, safer and more efficient. We all are quite familiar with the key concept behind Li-Fi. We use remote controls that send data as light pulses, using an LED to the receiver in our TV set. It then processes the signal and changes the channels or adjusts the volume as desired.
In Li-Fi, instead of a single stream of data as in remotes, it uses thousands of data streams. The evolution of LED bulbs is one of the key reasons for this technology. They can transmit signals at a speed of 1,000,000,000 bits per second as compared to 1,000 bits per second in remote controls. In Li-Fi data is sent through adding a microchip to any LED bulbs. This propels them blink on and off at a very high speed, i. e., millions of times per second. These blinks can’t be detected by a naked eye, it can only be detected by a light-sensitive receiver.
What effect Li-Fi has on our life?
Higher Internet Speeds
Today, Li-Fi can transmit data at speeds up to 1 gigabit per second –100 times faster than the existing Wi-Fi. However, some lab tests show that the technology could theoretically reach speeds of 224 Gbps.
Double functionality and energy efficiency
Li-Fi turns an existing infrastructure to a more useful one. While radio-based wireless connectivity relies on base stations, the infrastructure for light-based connectivity, which is LED bulbs, already exists. So, it can be said that a light bulb is not just a light spending unit, now it is a wireless transceiver, light-producing unit, communications device, or a Li-Fi access point. This will result in more energy efficiency.
With Li-Fi technology, the LED lights can also provide internet connectivity to our smart appliances like juice maker or refrigerator creating a connected smart home.
One of the issues critics of Li-Fi have been pointing out is that its signals cannot travel through walls like radio waves. This means it will be contained in one room, thus would provide security to our data streams from external hacking.
Li-Fi could change the way we drive our cars as microchip assisted LED in the headlamps and break-lights could transmit signals to nearby cars about speed, breaking, direction, etc. This can enable other cars to respond accordingly.
One of the key advantages of Li-Fi is that it does not interfere with other radio signals like Wi-Fi. Hence, it can be used on aircrafts and in places like hospitals safely.
No more spectrum crisis
The spectrum for radio waves is in short supply and the US Federal Communications Commission has already sounded alarm bells for a potential spectrum crisis because Wi-Fi is nearing full capacity. On the other hand, the visible light spectrum is 10,000 times larger. So, it is unlikely to run out soon.
Photo Credit: Boston University