Meet Li-Fi: Light Based Internet That’s 100 Times Faster Than Wi-Fi
Have you ever been left frustrated over a sluggish internet connection? Chances are you probably associate with the need for a faster internet connection. The answer to your woes could be LiFi.
Scientists are working to develop a potential successor to Wi-Fi that is capable of transmitting data at a rate 100 times faster than the average wireless connection.Li-Fi can transmit data at a rate of 1 gigabit per second, 500 times faster than the first incarnation of Wi-Fi, which had speeds of up to 2 megabits per second.
Li-Fi utilizes the surge created by LED bulbs switching on and off billions of times per second to transmit strings of data. It works in a similar way to the operation of Morse code – but much faster.
The new method of delivering fast Internet takes place in the visible spectrum, which means humans are able to see the light emitted, although the lights flicker too fast for our eyes to pick up on it. In appearance, the Li-Fi bulb would look like any other bulb, although with the added advantage of transmitting ultra-fast Internet.
Similarly optical technologies have been employed with Gpon or Gigabit Passive Optical Network which aimed to deliver a gigabit worth of bandwidth of data over an optical fibre network. It is in line with these initiatives that projects such as Google Fiber took off and became a reality.
The advantages highlighted by Haas,Chair of Mobile Communications,University of Edinburgh and also the co-founder of pureLiFi Ltd. in his TED Talk certainly highlight the need for newer ways to transmit data. Considering that the visible spectrum of light opens up 10000 times more bandwidth for data transmission, this could solve the problem of a lack of spectrum that currently plagues the telecommunications and wireless internet industry.
Li-Fi could also provide more security than Wi-Fi because its signal cannot move beyond the walls of a room. This makes is harder to hackers to set up and gain access to the connection.The Telegraph reports that intelligence agencies have expressed an interest in the potential security of Li-Fi and airlines are also considering the technology aboard aircraft.
As Haas said, “All we need to do is fit a small microchip to every potential illumination device and this would then combine two basic functionalities, illumination and wireless data transmission”.In the future we will not only have 14 billion light bulbs, we may have 14 billion LiFis deployed worldwide for a cleaner, greener and even brighter future.
However, the technology is still in its infancy – though the next few years could see an Internet speed revolution.