Can a lightbulb really give you wireless access? In 2016, that’s the question of the day.
Demand for data is on the rise. Our phones are it. We have over four billion cell phones in the world today and they have become an extension of who we are, from our fingers all the way into an entirely new world of existence.
Did you know that we, as a mobile using population, transmit 600,000,000,000,000 of data each month on our phones around the world – maybe more. That is 600 Terabyte’s. A Terabyte is approximately one trillion bytes or 1,000 Gigabytes. Computers today often have one and two terabyte drives. To put that in perspective, a Terabyte could hold approximately 300 hours high-quality video.
Wireless internet is the way of the world and we use it as an integral part of life. But believe it or not, wireless as progressive as it is, is limited. WiFi uses radio waves to transmit data but it has limitations based on the world demand for wireless data transmission. We are running out of spectrum. In other words, the rate that people are using WiFi is not available at the rate that we want to use it. We want faster information. We want instant access. We want unlimited access and we want more access. Unfortunately radio waves, that transmit WiFi are limited in availability, efficiency, security and in certain geographical areas. Radio waves can also be intercepted and are not fully secure in terms of data transmission. So what’s next?
Like most commodities, WiFi is an incredible invention, until the next bigger, better thing comes along. Some people believe that the next big thing is wireless Internet via light waves. Lightwaves became the new consideration for data transmission when visionary inventor and professor of mobile communications, at the University of Edinburgh, Harald Haas, discovered LiFi’s capability to transmit data. He found that light waves, which are 10,000 times faster than radio waves, could be used to transmit data wirelessly!
In 2011, Professor Harald Haas expressed his ideas about LiFi technology during his TED Talk. He summarized his findings in illustrating how he used an LED lightbulb as a wireless router. Watch the video linked here. Incredible.
The term Li-Fi was coined by pureLiFi’s CSO, Professor Harald Haas, and it refers to light based communications technology that delivers high-speed, bi-directional networked, mobile communications. Learn about pureLiFi, the company that is innovating the way into the new future of wireless light technology!
LiFi uses available light. Not the Sun but manufactured LED light. LiFi uses the visible light portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to transmit information at super high speeds. Harald Haas showed the world that LiFi is available if you have a light emitting diode LED light bulb to use as a semiconductor device and he used it to transform the light bulb (light) into an ultra-fast, wireless router.
Whether it is public/private lighting or even a street lamp, LiFi can be used for generating a LiFi hotspot. Tablets, smartphones, laptops and mobile devices can be directly interconnected using LiFi. Applications for LiFi are endless. Users of LiFi will enjoy receiving high data volume without competing for bandwidth. In WiFi, the more users, the slower the Internet download speed. Alternatively in LiFi, the number of access points is high so each pool of light offers full data access.
LiFi is fast, cheap and secure, but it does have some limitations. Given that the technology uses visible light only, it does not work in sunlight or through walls. This means that a LiFi network requires light bulbs in each room to get seamless connectivity.
LiFi doesn’t work outdoors, so as it stands, it won’t replace public WiFi networks. It’s most likely that LiFi and WiFi applications will be integrated together for a new wireless mix of solutions. Don’t be surprised if your new iPhone feature includes LiFi as a viable option for wireless “light” access”. It’s all very exciting and progressive, but I’m holding out for the day that Harald Haas harnesses solar light rays, to emit data. At which point I’d like to reserve my trip on a solar powered starship and take a look at those black holes everyone is talking about!
It’s all very exciting and progressive, but I’m holding out for the day that Harald Haas harnesses “the sun” and it’s solar light rays to emit data. At which point I’d like to reserve my trip on a solar powered starship and take a look at those black holes everyone is talking about! That’s probably a conversation for Richard Branson or Elon Musk!
Publisher & Content Strategist
Tina Olivero is the Publisher and Contents Strategist for TheOGM.com
Tina loves to have thought-provoking conversations that lead to new possibilities.
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Photo & Graphics credits: pureLifi, We Are Social
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