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LiFi – The Future Communication Method

LiFi – The Future Communication Method

Light Fidelity – LiFi is a wireless communication technology gaining popularity. LiFi uses Light to transmit data between devices. The technology was first introduced by Professor Harald Haas in 2011.

Professor Harald Haas is a German Professor of Mobile Communications at the University of Edinburgh. He is the person who coined the term Li-Fi and introduced it in the TED Global Talk in Edinburgh.

WiFi and LiFi

A WiFi Network relies on radio waves to carry data. Every year our consumption of data increases by about 60% and this could create a potential problem in the future for the communication. The maximum data that radio waves can carry (Bandwidth) has limits. It is called the Spectrum Crunch.

A LiFi Network utilizes the Light from LED Lamps to send data to a device and an Infrared Light to transmit data back from the device. Multiple lights can be added to a single network. This allows one to move around in space from light to light without any interruption of the connection.

Working of LiFi

Each lamp in the LiFi Network acts as a transmitter and receiver. It sends out and collects data from the nearby users. While doing so, the light changes its intensity billions of times in a second, though we won’t notice it. This change in the intensity of the light becomes a digital signal. Digital Signals carry the information from the internet to the user and back.

A LiFi enabled device will have a receiver to pick up light signals from the lamp and a transmitter to transmit signals back to the lamp. The user does not need to be directly under a Lamp. Light reflected off the walls and other surfaces also carry digital signals.

Light Waves and Radio Waves are parts of the Electromagnetic Spectrum. The frequency of Light Waves is more than 1000 times that of Radio Waves. Due to this more than 1000 channels are available in addition, compared to Radio Waves for communication. This significantly enables more bandwidth for data.

Benefits of LiFi

  • Can work with a variety of LED Lights
  • Does not interfere with other communication systems
  • Can transmit more data to more users in a room as more lights can be added to the network, thus exceeding the capacity
  • Inherently more secure due to the fact that light can be contained in a space
  • Data Lock can be used with LiFi to make it more secure
  • Since there are no interference issues like WiFi, it can work in different places and also in Aircrafts
  • LiFi has the potential to provide the extra bandwidth needed
Picture used for illustration only – Credit:
Video – Credit: pureLiFi

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


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