Will Li-Fi supplant WiFi?

Li-Fi, which signifies “Light Fidelity”, is an innovation that enables connection with the Internet through LED lights. Experimental tests in research facilities and the first installations are conclusive about this innovation until telephone manufacturers fully share this novel technology.

How does Li-Fi function?

Li-Fi works with light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Which relationship between a light bulb and the Internet? Researchers realized that this light created a frequency by turning it on and off. It allows the transferred of information. For instance, a LED on transmits a bit 1 and a LED off transmits a bit 0, which means that it can be theoretically applied to a computer model.

After several years of research, mainly in France and Japan, Li-Fi technology is progressively becoming operational.

The Li-Fi router, located in the LED bulb, sends information with a high-speed frequency and invisible to the human eye.  Smartphone or tablet built with the Li-Fi decoder can read the data transmitted (of any kind: text, audio, video) and establish an Internet connection. An infrared process also permits the sharing of information.

What can be the uses?

Li-Fi can be used in addition to WiFi to relieve networks that are often overloaded. It also needs the latter or Power Line Communication (PLC) sockets, which connect the Internet to the local power grid to enable the user to send data and not just receive it, its main purpose. To free up cellular networks, many smartphones, but also laptops, are beginning to emerge with an integrated Li-Fi chip.

The Li-Fi also allows a more precise geolocation of a connected object (up to 20 cm accuracy). This can allow for more targeted communication, sending different signals according to a well-defined area.(ideal shopping malls, buildings …)

Thanks to its economic aspect, its excellent speeds and its safe operation due to its accessibility, Li-Fi can be used in hospitals or in airplanes since it obviously does not create any interference with electronic components. It can also be a viable solution on road networks by use of street lamps as relays.

At present, prices remain high. A LiFi-compatible LED lighting costs between €500 and more than €1,000, dependent on the size of its lighting cone.

Security

Each lamp has its own IP address – which raises some questions with ICANN. The person standing under the light beam is the only one who can receive the information. At 30cm from the beam, behind a wall, under a table, or even by sliding his phone into his pocket, the user can no longer access the data. Li-Fi does not pass through objects or even fabric and offers an absolute guarantee against hacking.

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Jkev

Everyday technology provides me with food for thought.

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