Li-Fi, a wireless technology that is 100 times faster than Wi-Fi

November 26
8:34 AM 2015

Li-Fi, a superfast wireless technology, has been proven to be able to transmit data about 100 times faster than current Wi-Fi technology in its first real world test. An Estonian startup Vermenni revealed that it has begun trialling Li-Fi within offices and industrial environments in Tallin and found that the technology is able to send data at up to 1 GB per second.

Earlier this year, scientists at the University of Oxford conducted a lab trial of Li-Fi and discovered that the technology achieved data transmission speeds of 224 GB per second. At this speed, 18 movies of 1.5 GB each can be downloaded in just one second.

Li-Fi (light fidelity) wireless technology allows data to be sent at high speed using visible light communication (VLC) technology, according toInternational Business Times. Invented in 2011 by Professor Harald Haas from the University of Edinburgh, the technology delivers high speed mobile communications in a manner similar to Wi-Fi. It also offers more secure communications and reduced device interference.

According to Science Alert, the VLC technology as Li-Fi's medium uses visible light between 400 and 800 terahertz.The technology works by flicking an LED lightbulb on and off within nanoseconds to write and transmit things in binary code.

The optical output from the flickering LED can be modulated by setting up the current. If the current runs slowly, the output intensity of the bulb dims up. The output is then detected by a photodetector device and converted back to electrical current.

The visible light communications is invisible to the human eye, so the users will not have to be worried about the flickering communications.

Any LED lightbulb can be transformed into a Li-Fi device simply by inserting a small microchip into an LED. The modified LED would have two basic functions: to light up the rooms and to create network connections.

However, because the technology uses visible light, Li-Fi won't work through walls. Unlike Wi-Fi signals that can penetrate the walls,  Li-Fi connections can't. This means, consumers would need the Li-Fi  devices in every room to have seamless connectivity in their house. The LED lightbulbs with Li-Fi technology also need to be on all the time to deliver the connectivity.

Li-Fi technology also won't work outdoors, so it will not be able to replace public Wi-Fi networks in anytime soon.

According to Telegraph, Li-Fi technology has enticed several companies including airlines company which want to use it to provide better in-flight connectivity, and intelligence agencies which are interested to secure wireless data transfers provided by the technology.

The Li-Fi technology still remains to be a true solution for Wi-Fi connectivity problems and issues. Although its current development offers promising results, several aspects like outdoor internet access and access in public areas remains to be adressed by this new development in internet technology.

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