Li-Fi soon to replace WiFi?

  • Li-Fi, a LED-based broadband technology will soon replace WiFi
  • An engineering professor developed the technology in 2011
  • He said Li-Fi transmit larger data at a much greater speed
  • The technology will be out in the market within 2 to 3 years

An Edinburgh professor is on the verge of another breakthrough in communications technology that will soon replace the WiFi (wireless fidelity) as the main access to the internet in home, offices and public places.

Professor Harald Haas, an engineering professor, has coined the term Li-Fi (Light Fidelity or Light-enabled WiFi) back in 2011. The technology is used to transmit data around the house, much like the WiFi, but instead uses household LED bulbs.

Early this month, Haas gave a live demonstration of the LED-based broadband at Royal Institution’s Faraday Lecture Theatre in London.

Using only a standard LED bulb and a domestic solar cell, he showed the audience how a video was transmitted to a laptop with an approximate speed of 50 mbps.

Li-Fi explained

Li-Fi is a bi-directional, high-speed and optical networking technology which uses off-the-shelf LED bulb with incorporated chips to transmit data, just as WiFi does.

The chip is mainly used to rapidly modulate the intensity of light in order to encode binary data as ones and zeros. The light is from these bulbs is then receive by the device photoreceptors.

The LED can send large amount of data which simply looks like a white light to the human eye.

Advantages and drawbacks

Li-Fi has its advantages over the conventional WiFi as it is able to transmit far greater data and at a much greater speed – about 1.7 gbps for each LED bulb to as much as 10 gbps for a multitude of them.

Unlike WiFi whose transmission signal can be interfered by multiple devices in a room, Li-Fi functions without interference. It can also use existing power infrastructures to work. (Click here to read more)

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