LI-FI or Light Fidelity is a visible light communication for communicating or transmitting information over the visible light spectrum, ultraviolet and infrared radiation at extreme speeds. Instead of using radio signals to transmit information which we use in Wi-Fi, in Li-Fi it uses visible LED light. Li-Fi uses common household LED light bulbs for the transfer of data with a speed boasting up to 224 gigabits per second.
The term Li-Fi was first introduced by University of Edinburg Professor Harald Haas in 2011 during the TEDGLOBAL talk in Edinburg. Haas imagined as a future possibility that light bulbs could act as wireless routers. Later in 2012 after a research of few years, has started a company pureLiFi with the aim to be the world master in Visible Light Communication technology.
Li-Fi works in a similar way as Wi-Fi works as they both transmit data electromagnetically, one thing that differs is Wi-Fi uses radio waves, while Li-Fi uses visible light.
As said that, Li-Fi is a Visible Light Communication(VLC) system. That means it needs a photo-detector to receive the light signals emitted by the LED’s and an element for the signal processing and to convert the data into stream-able content.
LED light bulb is the source of light, the constant electricity supplied to an LED bulb can be lowered and dimmed, up and down at extremely high speeds, without being visible to human eye.
First, the data is fed into the LED bulb by using the signal processing technology and the data is embedded in its beams and sends at rapid speeds to the photodiode, which means the photodetector. The changes in rapid dimming and dipping of LED bulbs is converted into electric signals by the receiver. Then the signal is converted back into a binary data stream that would be recognized as video and an audio application, the web that runs on the internet.
As some say that Li-Fi with 224 Gbps leaves Wi-Fi aside, but the exclusive use of visible light by the Li-Fi could stop the mass consumption.
The major drawback of Li-Fi is that the Li-Fi signals cannot pass through the walls as the Wi-Fi signals do. So in order to have full connectivity capable LED’s should be placed throughout.
Li-Fi requires light bulbs on every time to provide the connection, if there is no light there is no connectivity.
But it’s not expected to be bad, due to the impressive speeds of Li-Fi makes a huge mark on the internet of things too, with the transfer of data at higher levels with more devices that are able to connect to one another.
Due to the shorter range, Li-Fi is more secure than Wi-Fi and it is said that embedded light beams can still achieve 70 megabits per second on being reflected off a surface.
The masters of Li-Fi in November 2014 joined forces with French Lighting Company Lucibel to Launch few Li-Fi enabled products.
pureLiFi has already launched two products in the market
You can watch the demo of Li-Flame Ceiling Unit here
Li-Fi was being tested in Dubai, by the UAE-based telecommunications provider, du and Zero1. Du reported having succeeded in providing internet, audio and video streaming.
Apple may build future phones with Li-Fi capabilities. It is found that iOS 9.1 code has a reference to Li-Fi and apple may integrate Li-Fi with iPhones in future.
Velmenni, founded by Deepak Solanki and Saurabh Garg, completed an Airbus business-accelerator program in Hamburg two years ago, and according to Bloomberg, it’s developing Li-Fi applications for Airbus cabins and outside use.
As light waves can travel through water, Li-Fi technology can be used in remotely operated underwater vehicles(ROVs). Generally, ROVs use cables to transmit command, but the length of the cables then limits area ROVs can detect. Li-Fi can be implemented on them to receive and send the signals.
In hospitals, treatments involve many doctors, Li-Fi system can be used better to transmit the communication about the patient’s information. Besides providing a higher speed, light waves have a lower effect on instruments and the human bodies.
To increase the road safety, we can make vehicles communicate with each other through back and front lights. Li-Fi technology can be used in street and traffic light so that they could send the current road information.
Li-Fi technology can be used in aircraft, as the passengers in the aircraft get access to the low-speed internet at very high prices and also Wi-Fi is not available because those signals may interfere with the navigation system of the pilots. Li-Fi can provide high-speed internet through light source inside the airplane.
As light is available everywhere and it is there to use for a free of cost, there is great scope for the use and evolution of Li-Fi technology. If Li-Fi technology comes into use then each Li-Fi bulb can be used to transmit data wirelessly. Li-Fi technology helps in providing greener, cleaner, safer communication and have good future and environment.