01-Jan-2016   |     |   0

In the Near Future, Light Bulbs Will Transmit Data

Li-Fi started out as being nothing more than a theory, but there has been steady progress made over the past few years. It’s been tested in a real-world environment, and it’s showing that it can definitely be a viable wireless Internet technology. When tested, Li-Fi transferred data at speeds of around 1GB/second. As explained by ScienceAlert:

The technology uses Visible Light Communication (VLC), a medium that uses visible light between 400 and 800 terahertz (THz). It works basically like an incredibly advanced form of Morse code – just like switching a torch on and off according to a certain pattern can relay a secret message, flicking an LED on and off at extreme speeds can be used to write and transmit things in binary code.

Li-Fi was created by Professor Harald Haas, who claims that Li-Fi resolves four of the main problems that most businesses have with normal wireless communications:

  • Capacity: The way that WiFi currently functions is through the use of electromagnetic waves, like radio waves, which are particularly limited in scope and range. When most of society needs access to wireless Internet, due to the limited amount of space on the spectrum, these restrictions will ultimately hold WiFi back. In comparison, the light used by Li-Fi is capable of traveling at a much greater frequency, which makes it about 10,000 times faster than traditional WiFi.
  • Efficiency: Data transfer occurs via base stations as per the current deployment model, and these base stations aren’t energy efficient. About five percent of the energy is used to transfer the data, while the rest is devoted to maintaining the temperature of the base station. In terms of overall financial efficiency, data transferred via light eliminates the cost of data transmission. Considering how necessary light bulbs are around the world, it would be a simple transition process. Since the infrastructure already exists, it could be as simple as replacing normal light bulbs with special Li-Fi LED bulbs.
  • Availability: WiFi isn’t available everywhere; at least, not yet. In other places, it can’t be used, like hospitals and airplanes. Visible light surrounds all of us on a daily basis, so it’s not really a question of “if” a Li-Fi connection will be available, but “how” it will be implemented.
  • Security: Who can forget the major cause for concern that is security? Wireless signals delivered by radio waves can potentially breach walls and extend into the outside world. Light can be restricted to certain rooms, homes, and buildings, so it’s easier to keep secure.

Haas is pretty set on his belief that Li-Fi can solve the world’s high-speed data transfer problems, but what do you think? Let us know in the comments if you think this is a bright idea!


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