An Estonian team of scientists developed an internet providing service that uses LED (Light Emitting Diodes) technology for transferring data. It seems that being 100 times faster than Wi-Fi, Li-Fi is the future of internet connectivity.
One of the best parts of this is that the new technology, called Light Fidelity or Li-Fi is 100 times faster than WiFi, being able to transfer signals at a speed of 1 Giga bytes per second and it doesn’t need much more than something like a LED bulb.
Also, recent tests in the new Li-Fi technology found that the visible light spectrum is about 10,000 times larger than radio waves, which are used by routers to send Wi-Fi signals. In one test, Li-Fi has been able to transmit data at the record speed of 224 gigabytes per second.
The technology has been presented for the first time by Harald Haas, professor at the University of Edinburgh, the Netherlands, in 2011, at a TED Talk.
Now, besides the Velmini Company from Tallinn, Estonia, other companies are testing the new technology too. It is expected that the air transportation companies will benefit the most from Li-Fi technology since, unlike Wi-Fi, because it is not using radio signals it won’t interfere with their flight instruments. This means that one day we could say goodbye to ‘plane mode’ and hello to internet on-board.
It is worth mentioning that civilians are not the only ones interested in this life-changing technology – the US Navy has also started testing the Li-Fi for transmissions within their submarines. Since radio waves barely work underwater, the potential of Li-Fi is of high interest for the future of marine communications. It seems that scientists from the University of California are already working to develop green and blue LEDs specifically for submarines’ underwater optical communications.
The Li-Fi signal is just as simple as that from a standard TV remote control. Basically, all it needs to become operational is internet connection and a photo detector that can spread the signals.
However, besides all the perks, the Li-Fi technology also has a downside. For now, scientists haven’t been able to find a way of making it work outside, in the daylight. Since the sunlight interferes with the signals of the LED, it can only be used in closed spaces. More than that, the light cannot penetrate through walls so in order to get an uninterrupted signal the users have to be in the proximity of the LED transmitter.
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