WiFi is one of the most praised technological inventions to date. From sending a “Hi!” to our best friends when we have nothing to do to frantically rummaging through Wikipedia when we remember our class projects in the 11th hour, WiFi was always there as a savior to help us out in times of need.
However, WiFi has its disadvantages. The radio frequencies that WiFi uses to transmit information have disastrous health effects on humans and animals.
Then what’s the solution?
LiFi uses LED lights to transmit information at very high speeds. This is in contrast to wireless communication like Wi-Fi, which uses radio frequency signals to transmit data. LiFi is 100 times faster than normal WiFi and can reach a speed of 224 GB per second.
With LiFi, data is transmitted by the light emitted from LEDs received by a photo-sensitive detector, and the light signal is converted into an electronic form. The conversion is done in such a way that it can not be seen to the human eye.
LiFi has the upper hand over WiFi. Here is a list of reasons why LiFi is better and safer than WiFi.
- Light waves do not penetrate through walls, making them more secure.
- There are no limitations in capacity.
- WiFi requires radio circuits, antennas, and complex receivers, whereas Li-Fi is much simpler.
- LED light bulbs have high intensities and can achieve enormous data rates.
- LiFi is expected to be 10 times cheaper than WiFi
- The visible light spectrum is said to be 10,000 times larger than the entire radio spectrum.
- LiFi can achieve 1000 times the data density of WiFi.
- LiFi is efficient and requires lesser components than WiFi
- LiFi evolved from light, so there are no known dangers to organisms by LiFi.
LiFi also has a variety of other innovative applications. These include:
- Smart Lighting: Any private or public lighting like street lamps can be used to provide Li-Fi hotspots.
- Mobile Connectivity: Laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices can interconnect directly using Li-Fi. Short-range links give very high data rates and also provide security.
- Aviation: Li-Fi can help reduce weight and add flexibility to seating layouts in aircraft passenger cabins where LED lights are already deployed. In-flight entertainment (IFE) systems can also be supported and integrated with passengers’ own mobile devices.
- Underwater Communications: Due to a strong signal absorption in water, WiFi is impractical underwater. These waves have low bandwidth and disturb marine life. Li-Fi provides a solution for short-range communications.
- Vehicles & Transportation: Headlights, taillights, street lamps, signage, and traffic signals are also moving to LED. This can be used for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-roadside communications. In addition, this can be applied to road safety and traffic management.
- Sensitivity towards WiFi: People who are hypersensitive to radio frequencies and are looking for an alternative can use Li-Fi as a good solution to this problem.
- Toys: LED lights are present in many toys and can enable extremely low-cost communication between interactive toys.
Has LiFi been introduced into the World?
Harald Haas, a teacher at the University of Edinburgh in the UK, coined the term “Li-Fi” when he introduced the idea of “Wireless data from every light.” Now, he is the Chairman of Mobile Communications at the University of Edinburgh and is the co-founder of pureLiFi.
- Haas promoted this technology in his 2011 TED Global talk.
- PureLiFi, formerly pureVLC, was set up to commercialize Li-Fi products for integration with existing LED-lighting systems.
- In October 2011, companies and industry groups formed the Li-Fi Consortium to promote LiFi and overcome the limited radio-based wireless spectrum.
- VLC technology was exhibited in 2012 using Li-Fi.
- In October 2013, it was reported that Chinese manufacturers were working on Li-Fi development kits.
- In April 2014, the Russian company Stins Coman announced that there had been some development on a Li-Fi wireless local network called BeamCaster.
- In 2014, a new record was established by Sisoft (a Mexican company), whose LiFi was able to transfer data at speeds of up to 10Gbps across a light spectrum emitted by LED lamps.
Long ago, it was discovered that data could be transferred using radio waves. Now they found that data can be transferred through LEDs.
Can data be transferred through oxygen? Probably through blood, too. Who knows? Our future is an endless ocean of possibilities, and I am super excited to see the things that lie in store for us.
Isn’t it amazing to know that our brains can do such amazing things by only using 10% of it?