Update, 10pm Monday 9 December: Eskom “unreservedly apologised” on Monday evening for implementing Stage 6 load shedding. It announced that from 10pm, Stage 4…
LiFi is like Wi-Fi but instead of a router and receiver communicating via air waves, they do so using light. A French company called Oledcomm showcased this new technology at CES this past weekend. The tech allows lamps to switch on and off within nanoseconds to transfer high-speed data to anything from modified smartphones to laptops.
LiFi technology uses an actual light bulb to establish a data communication as the company notes, “From your LED lighting device, you will be able to: send data, listen music, look at videos and ultimately to connect to Internet.”
Engadget reports that the company showcased a 10Mbps LiFi link between a Macbook and a router. The company also displayed a modified smartphone with a front-facing camera swapped out for a light sensor. But the possibilities of use is still left to be explored.
The company imagines precise geolocation and in-store advertising to become a big deal eventually. Imagine this: as you walk into a department store, the lights will trigger something on your smartphone like a fashion video or the daily clothing sales.
How do you get data transferred from a light bulb to a smartphone? Oledcomm thoroughly explains that it works something like a strobe light on steroids (though it appears static to the naked eye), “LEDs are different from the other kinds of lamps because they are semiconductors. This characteristic gives them the capability to switch-on and off within few nanoseconds or billionth of a second.”
It further says that if this speed is converted in terms of data rates, this corresponds to “1 Gbits/s. In order to compare, at best Wi-Fi can reach 100 Mbits/s data rates and so 10 times lower.”
You know some people say that mobile phones and Wi-Fi can cause brain cancer? With LiFi they may rest assured. The company says LiFi is much cheaper as well as greener. Together with far less energy consumption, it further reduces the electromagnetic pollution generated by the numerous radio wave solutions.