New Li-Fi Technology Is 100 Times Faster than Wi-Fi

Tuesday, 24 November 2015 - 2:53PM
Science News
Tuesday, 24 November 2015 - 2:53PM
New Li-Fi Technology Is 100 Times Faster than Wi-Fi
Li-Fi, a super-fast, light-based alternative to Wi-Fi, has been developing in research labs for years, but has thus far been considered theoretical. Now, the technology has been tested in real-world situations for the first time, and according to the initial results, it is 100 times faster than Wi-Fi.

Li-Fi, which was invented by University of Edinburgh researcher Harald Haas, uses visible light communication, or light wavelengths between 400 and 800 terahertz that flicker on and off in order to communicate data in the form of binary code. In 2011, when the technology was first created, Haas demonstrated that a single LED could transmit more data than a cellular tower. In addition to being faster, Li-Fi is also more secure than Wi-Fi. Unlike Wi-Fi signals, light can't pass through walls, which also means less interference between devices. 

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"We are doing a few pilot projects within different industries where we can utilize the VLC (visible light communication) technology," Deepak Solanki, CEO of Estonian tech company, Velmenni, told IBTimes UK. "Currently we have designed a smart lighting solution for an industrial environment where the data communication is done through light. We are also doing a pilot project with a private client where we are setting up a Li-Fi network to access the Internet in their office space."
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While our homes, offices, and cities have generally been fitted for Wi-Fi, so Li-Fi probably won't replace it in the immediate future, it could replace it in the relatively short term (remember when we all used cable modems for the internet?). For now, the plan is to retrofit the devices we already have so they work with Li-Fi as well, and the two technologies can work in tandem in order to provide faster, more secure, and fully accessible internet. In his 2011 Ted Talk, Haas envisioned a future in which the internet is available to every person with a light bulb.



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"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," Haas said. "In the future we will not only have 14 billion light bulbs, we may have 14 billion Li-Fis deployed worldwide for a cleaner, greener and even brighter future."
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