Light has been on trend since the Earth’s birth. Ask a religious scholar about it, and they will tell you it was a miracle that took place at the very beginning of God’s creation. Inquire about it to a scientist, and you may get a much different answer. Now we are using light for many new innovations in technology, including Li-Fi.
If Thomas Edison could read this from the afterlife, he’d be astonished that his renowned invention, the bulb, several years after, serve not only for illuminating humanity physically but intellectually transport the Internet for them.
That’s what the Li-Fi bets on: offering broadband Internet connection through electric light, which fits perfect with the IoT target of connecting everything that can be connected, like an entire city and its inhabitants.
Internet at the Speed of Light
So in a nutshell, Li-Fi is the first cousin of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. As well-known as Visible Light Communications (VLC), is a wireless communication system that uses light, instead of radio waves.
Now, the fact of connecting to the Internet through a single bulb is an open window to an endless universe of possibilities for the Smart Cities of tomorrow.
Imagine the new generation of autonomous cars and flying vehicles we are already seeing, but add some smart LED headlights that let them communicate with each other and with the highway. The landscape, a road full of smart lighting able to create a vast network of data transmission for intelligent circulation.
So Li-Fi Tech… Yay or Nay?
The company pureLiFi already manufactures and sells the basic elements for a Li-Fi installation. The French company Oledcomm is also working with Li-Fi and installing its own system in hospitals. Nevertheless, like any system, it has its advantages and disadvantages that we must not overlook.
Super-Fast Speed: Seen in numbers, when your Internet connection goes from a cable to air (Wi-Fi), it can offer you about 40 megabits per second (Mbps). With a bulb powered by Internet technology, it has been possible to reach up to 500 Mbps – 12 Times Faster!
Less Jamming: By not working on the electromagnetic spectrum of radio waves, it avoids interference with other devices. It could be offering a new channel of information distribution and network fluidity.
Relative Freedom: There are some downsides currently. Consider if there’s no light, there’s no Li-Fi. Moreover, since light cannot cross walls, unlike with Wi-Fi, we need as many transmitters as receivers for each point of use. Nay!
What if I tell you that it could be the perfect solution for Internet in your car, on an airplane or even on a spacecraft? Internet connection is a reality in space, but its speed is something even the most patient astronaut will complain about. Maybe yay!
Some Companies Are Already On Board
Even Disney is getting on board with a technology and is taking steady steps forward. In fact, researchers for the company are working on items like Linux Light Bulbs to enable Internet protocol connectivity among toys and lamps in a room.
Li-Fi could place 5G technology everywhere. What do you think? Are we ready for something this powerful in the near future?