Li–Fi – The Latest Technology in Wireless

Most of us familiar with Wi – Fi and its bandwidth is typically limited to the range of 50 – 100 megabits per second. But, can you imagine a network with a transmission speed above 100 megabits per second and it can be up to 200 Mbps? Yes, it can be possible with the new technology called Light Fidelity, which is in initial stage. It is shortly known as Li-Fi. With this Li – Fi technology, every light source will provides us internet access at very high speed. It has been developed by Chinese scientists and they have been able to connect four computers to the internet using a Li – Fi light based communication link from one-watt LED bulb.

Today, we are dependent upon the ‘cloud’ or our own ‘media servers’ to store all of our files, including movies, music, pictures and games. Transmission of those files require higher bandwidth and more speed. So, the more we dependent on cloud, the more we will want bandwidth and speed. But the RF-based technologies such as today’s Wi-Fi are not the optimal way. The Li – Fi technology overcomes the above issue. It has unlimited capacity as light has bandwidth of 10,000 times bigger than radio spectrum.

Working of Li – Fi:

The functioning of Li-Fi technology is simple. You will have a light source at one end like a LED and a photo detector on the other hand.

As soon as, LED starts glowing, photo detector will detect light and get a binary 1 otherwise binary 0. The Flashing LED will build up the message to transmit and it is detected by photo detector.

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Where Li-Fi works:

Imagine yourself walking into a mall where GPS signals are unavailable but the mall is equipped with ceiling bulbs that create their own ‘constellation’ of navigation beacons. As the camera of your cell phone automatically receives these signals, it switches your navigation software to use this information to guide you to the ATM machine you’re looking for.

As you walk away, your phone notifies you that the leather jacket Tom featured in the movie is on sale nearby. You walk over towards the show window and your image comes up on the screen, wearing that coveted jacket. You turn and pose while the image matches your orientation and body gestures for a ‘digital fitting. When you walk into the store, the clerk hands you the actual jacket in exactly your size.

Best advantage of Li-Fi technology is accessing internet at high speed in those areas where optical fibers are not easy to install. Moreover, it is cheaper, faster and reliable when compared to Wi-Fi. Li-Fi reportedly only uses five per cent of the energy required to power other Wi-Fi-emitting devices which rely on cooling systems to supply internet to cell towers and stations.

The main drawback for this technology is that connection is lost if the light is turned off or if it is blocked.

The possibilities are numerous and can be explored further. If this technology can be put into practical use, every bulb can be used something like a Wi-Fi hotspot to transmit wireless data and we will proceed toward the cleaner, greener, safer and brighter future.

 -Sandeep Ega

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