Li-Fi shines light on Wi-Fi

Have you ever been the victim of slow Internet speed? Of course you have! It’s quite a travesty, and in 2015 no less.

But let’s say that you were able to sit in a room with traditional LED lighting, with no Wi-Fi in sight, yet still be able  to connect to the Internet with your mobile device and manage Internet browsing speeds at almost 10 times faster than regular Wi-Fi.

The future seems bright for us. From the brilliant researchers hailing from the University of Oxford comes a new, innovative technology with the potential to exceed traditional Wi-Fi.

This technology, referred to as “Li-Fi”, short for Light Fidelity, uses LED lighting instead of radio waves to transmit data from a PC or mobile device to the Internet and back, basically like Wi-Fi. However, the differences are very real.

Li-Fi can reach speeds of over 100 GB per second and in some instances can even top speeds at over 224 GB per second. For those who are not technologically inclined, that is ridiculously fast. So fast that you would be able to download 18 1.5GB sized films in a matter of seconds.

Using this LED-based system, these speeds can easily be reached. If Li-Fi found its way into commercial markets, you can be sure that your browsing experience would be improved exponentially. However, the process is no simple task.

In order to achieve these speeds, LED lights would be installed on the ceiling of the facility and a standard PC would be placed on the floor. The computer would act as the receiver of the data. From there, the LED lights would function as a buffer and transmit data from the receiver to the Internet.

The difficulty in this lies in the positioning of both the computer and the light sources. The light beam would need to be directly over the computer in order for the connection to remain stable.

Scientists are currently figuring out ways around this, mainly by having both the transmitter (the light source) and the receiver “develop a tracking and location system” so that the PC or portable device would more easily connect to online networks.

Li-Fi boasts many benefits, including “energy efficiency, safety, and security of a wireless system with a number of key benefits over Wi-Fi.”

However, according to pureLIFI, Li-Fi should be seen as a complementary technology, one that should accompany Wi-Fi, not undermine its usage.

But what do you think? Will Li-Fi remain an industry exclusive or will it find its way into the public markets for commercial and wide-spread use?