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The Power of Light: Li-Fi Explained

51Degrees

2/29/2016 9:49 AM

News

Light Fidelity (Li-Fi) is the new wireless communication technology which uses visible spectrum to transfer data.

Light Fidelity (Li-Fi) is the new wireless communication technology which uses visible spectrum to transfer data.

The technology has been invented by Professor of Mobile Communications at the University of Edinburgh, Harald Haas. The research group began developing the method in 2008. In 2011, the inventor demonstrated the new cutting edge technology during the TED (Technology Entertainment Design) Conference. Eventually, after four years of researching, in 2012, Haas established a company called “pureLiFi”.

Li-Fi is a Visible Light Communication (VCL) system. It uses Light Emitting Diodes (LED) to transfer data with speeds up to 224 Gbps (Gigabits per second), making it a hundred times faster than current Wi-Fi technology.

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picture comes from http://purelifi.com

The advantage of Li-Fi, is it does not disrupt other radio waves, so it could be used in places where emitting radio waves is prohibited, for example on aircraft. There are however disadvantages,for example, the technology cannot be used outdoors because sunlight can interfere with the emitting light.

Also Li-Fi cannot be used through walls and has to be used exactly in one place. This is good for security reasons because nobody unwanted can access a network as you have to be physically in the space where the light is emitting.

Some sources revealed that Apple plans to equip new iPhones with access to Li-Fi technology. In iOS 9.1, a piece of code has been found, referring to ‘LiFi Connectivity'. Li-Fi may become popular in the near future but it will probably not completely replace Wi-Fi, as both technologies can cooperate which may help to create more effective and faster networks.