You grab out your phone as you took a seat next to a coffee shop which had a big sign saying “FAST AND FREE INTERNET HERE”. Once you’ve connected to their internet, the page you searched loads slow, really slow. When you look around to see if anyone else is using the internet there’s about 0-2. You try going closer to the router, but nothing changes….
Have you been in this type of situation?
With Li-Fi, the way that we do the internet might change. But for the better or for worse?
What is Li-Fi??
Li-Fi stands for Light Fidelity which is a Visible Light Communications (VLC) system running wireless communications traveling at very high speeds. Instead of a router (which Wi-Fi uses), Li-Fi uses light bulbs that help in enabling data transfer and (AND) boosting the speed up to 224 gigabits per second! That’s a lot.
How did it start?
In 2011, Professor Harald Haas from the University of Edinburgh was at a TED talk where he envisioned these light bulbs which could be used as wireless routers. I’d say that’s a pretty cool thing to think about.
You could check out the video of TED here: https://www.ted.com/talks/harald_haas_wireless_data_from_every_light_bulb
How it works
Soooo, how does it work?
Similar to Wi-fi, Li-Fi both transmit data electromagnetically. But, instead of using radio waves (which Wi-Fi uses), Li-Fi runs on visible light!
Just as we said, Li-Fi is a Visible Light Communications (VLC) system which means that it uses a photodetector to receive the light signals. The light signals are then processing element to convert the data into stream-able content.
According to Mercer, “A LED light bulb is a semiconductor light source meaning that the constant current of electricity supplied to a LED lightbulb can be dipped and dimmed, up and down at extremely high speeds, without being visible to the human eye.
For example, data is fed into a LED light bulb (with signal processing technology), it then sends data (embedded in its beam) at rapid speeds to the photo-detector (photodiode).
The tiny changes in the rapid dimming of LED bulbs are then converted by the ‘receiver’ into an electrical signal.
The signal is then converted back into a binary data stream that we would recognize as web, video and audio applications that run on the Internet enables devices.”
Look at the photo above wouldn’t it be so much easier if we received our internet
100 times faster
Li-Fi was tested out in late 2015 by scientists in Tallinn, Estonia. They placed them in offices and industrial environments and they received impressive news. They were able to receive data transmission at 1 GB per second. This is 100 times faster than the current average internets speeds that we have today!
Unlike the internet today which seems to seep out through our walls and going to the neighbors or other public places, Li-Fi provides extra security. Without the light from your Li-Fi, there won’t be any data. So, just by closing your window blinds or you doors you’ll stop anyone from trying to Wi-Fi Spy on you.
And while Li-Fi is safe in security wise, it’s also just safer for us. Since Li-Fi doesn’t do their operation through radio waves and they use light, it doesn’t produce electromagnetic radiation and it doesn’t interfere with existing electronic systems.
Now, what would you choose? Li-Fi or Wi-Fi?
I pick Li-fi, btw!!