What is Li-Fi and how it is the future of wireless communication

On hearing the term Li-Fi, you would automatically relate it to Wi-Fi and yes, there is a connection between the two. Just like Wi-Fi, Li-Fi is also a means of connecting you to the internet and transferring data wirelessly. Li-Fi stands for Light Fidelity and is quite different to the popular Wi-Fi. What exactly is the difference between the two? Well, the main difference lies in the means used by the two technologies to transmit data or information. A typical Wi-Fi connection connects you to the internet and helps in data sharing through Radio Waves whereas this latest technology of Li-Fi uses Visible Light as its basic means of data transferring. This is the reason why Li-Fi is also called as Visible Light Communication (VLC). Li-Fi is a new and upcoming technology.

The founder of this technology is Harald Haas, a professor at the University of Edinburgh. This technology was promoted through Harald Haas’s TED talk in 2011. He has gone on to establish a company called PureLiFi. This company is working towards making Li-Fi a more commercially viable technology. It works by switching the current to the LEDs on and off at a high rate.

Li-Fi is intended to replace Wi-Fi for wireless communication. It has several advantages over Wi-Fi. By using Visible Light spectrum rays or infrared or UV rays, Li-Fi is capable of carrying much more information and larger amounts of data as compared to the radio waves used by Wi-Fi. Through the usage of Li-Fi, we will be capable of achieving higher levels of internet speeds. Researchers were capable of getting a speed of 10GBps. Li-Fi does not possess any limitations on capacity. This technology is very useful in Electromagnetic sensitive areas like aircraft cabins, hospitals and nuclear power plants. Also, it does not require line of sight.

Li-Fi seems like a good alternative to Wi-Fi but since it is still new and upcoming it has several problems. The light waves cannot penetrate through walls so it limits the range of Li-Fi. Shorter range helps in protecting the connection from hackers. Installation costs are still high. This technology is still under development and not many people know about it. In the case of Wi-Fi, we need to be near a router to connect to it while in the case of Li-Fi you need to be in the range of light emitted by the Li-Fi bulb.

There is still a lot of development and research required for this technology to be implemented properly in today’s world. The biggest challenge is that people will not instantly adopt this technology. It will take a lot of time before Li-Fi becomes a common thing. People wouldn’t shift immediately to it as there are risks and limitations of this technology. Li-Fi seems like a promising and faster replacement to Wi-Fi. Let’s see if it is able to replace Wi-Fi in the years to come.

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