Let the light do the talking! LED Device to replace Wi-Fi Router

LifiIn the age of innovations, yet another innovation is to send data packets over light signals using LED lights. Yes a real Li-Fi. One LED bulb capable of sending over 150 megabits per second and can server for up to 4 connections.

Recently the scientists at Fudan University, Shanghai have developed a less costly and a much more speedy source of getting Internet connectivity. Li-Fi Technology, i.e. a type of visible light communication technology that delivers a networked, mobile, high-speed communication solution in a similar manner as Wi-Fi.

Thus signals sent through light bulbs instead of radio frequencies as in Wi-Fi, are used as a source of getting Internet connectivity.

A light bulb with embedded microchips can deliver data as fast as 150 megabits per second, which is not only speedier than the average broadband connection in China but even faster than the US average of 8.8 Mbps.

 At a single point of time, four computers can be connected to each light bulb.

The Technology

Just like the radio waves which are used in case of Wi-Fi, light is also a type of electromagnetic wave. Thus, sending and receiving Internet signals through light waves remain similar to that for radio waves.

 Lightbulb flicks so fast (almost a billion times every second) that eyes cannot detect, thus makes the light source continuous. A receiver on a computer or mobile device, sees the visible light and decodes that flickering into data.

The LED bulbs can be flicked on and off quickly enough to transmit data around ten times as fast as the fastest Wi-Fi networks.

Li-fi was first demonstrated by University of Edinburgh professor Harald Haas in 2011 where he displayed a Li-Fi device transmitting at 10 Mbps, and asserted that the technology could hypothetically exceed 1 Gbps.

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This year Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute claimed that data rates of up to 1Gbit/s per LED light frequency were possible in laboratory conditions. Making one bulb with three colours potentially capable of transmitting data at up to 3Gbit/s, said the researchers at the institute.

Though development of pieces of technology required under this setting, including light communication controls, microchip design and manufacturing, is still in an experimental mode.

The test will be demonstrated at China International Industry Fair in Shanghai on Nov 5.

Iamwire Take: The technology is fast and cost-effective but comes with a drawback i.e. one cannot change the work location easily as wherever you want Internet connectivity it will require wired bulbs there too. Thus the technology can’t fight with Wi-Fi but though can act as its supplement in few areas. Thus there is a long way to make Li-Fi a success.

To contact author, email at pooja.sareen@wirefootindia.com

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