Li-Fi (Light Fidelity Technology), like Wi-Fi, is a wireless communication technology. It is 100 times faster than Wi-Fi and is based on Visible Light Communications (VLC) concept. Li-Fi uses visible light as the medium of transmission instead of the radio waves. It is fully networked, 5G technology that enhances the speed of wireless communications using common household LED light bulbs. This technology is very beneficial for the places where optical fibers are not easy to install.
This technology was first introduced by Professor Herald Haas (a German Physicist), from the University of Edinburgh, at TED talk of 2011 where he pictured LED bulbs that could act as wireless routers. He demonstrated how visible light could be used to transfer data. In September 2015 he brought this technology in front on the public.
Li-Fi has simple principle of functioning. It needs LED light source and a photo detector. All the data on the internet is streamed to an LED source. Microchip converts the digital data in form of light when the LED is turned on. The signals are then received by the photo-detector which converts them back into the original data. The data fed into the LED light bulb is sent at high speed to the photo-detector.
How does this technology work? It is very simple. The LED light is turned on and off fast. This flickering is too fast that its visibility could not be detected by the human eye. There is a microchip installed inside the LED. This microchip detects changes in the flickering of light. Thus, converting the light into data in its digital form. Digital signal 1 is transmitted when the LED is on and if LED is off, it transmits a digital signal 0. The LED light set also has a controller connected at the back, which along with the microchip could be used to detect the changes in light flickering and thus helps in converting light in to data in its digital form. The receiving photodiode device converts it into electronic signals. When the electronic signal is demodulated once, it is changed into binary data stream. That binary data stream is recognized as audio, video and web information that run on internet enabled devices.
Li-Fi is much safer as compared to Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi uses radio-waves as the mode of transmission whereas, Li-Fi uses light. The radio-waves can pass through the walls while light cannot penetrate into the walls. Thus, anyone outside the room can use Wi-Fi with bad intention but, Li-Fi is secure. Li-Fi could not even be hacked like Wi-Fi as the person outside the room cannot have an access to Li-Fi. It is also safer to use, as compared to the Wi-Fi as no radiations are involved.
Li-Fi is also faster than Wi-Fi as it uses light as the medium of transmission. Light, being a part of electromagnetic spectrum like radio-waves, is at much higher frequency. Thus, transferring the data at a much higher rate. It can also be used in electromagnetic sensitive areas as it does not cause electromagnetic interference.
The street lamps can also be used to transfer data if changed into Li-Fi lamps. It can also work in fog. The light of the street lights is not blocked completely by the fog, thus making the transfer of data through light possible in fog too. Li-Fi can also be used in aircraft, hospitals, for modern medical instruments etc.
Hence, Li-Fi is the latest wireless communication technology, faster, cheaper and safer than the Wi-Fi with simple functioning. It is going to change our lives in future.
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