Fiber optic cable promises internet speeds 100x faster than the fastest we have today….and now, “li-fi” wireless promises wireless data transfer at 100x as well.
A new method of delivering data, which uses the visible spectrum rather than radio waves, has been tested in a working office.
Li-fi can deliver internet access 100 times faster than traditional wi-fi, offering speeds of up to 1Gbps (gigabit per second).
It requires a light source, such as a standard LED bulb, an internet connection and a photo detector.
It was tested this week by Estonian start-up Velmenni, in Tallinn.
Velmenni used a li-fi-enabled light bulb to transmit data at speeds of 1Gbps. Laboratory tests have shown theoretical speeds of up to 224Gbps.
It was tested in an office, to allow workers to access the internet and in an industrial space, where it provided a smart lighting solution.
Consumers can use this new evolution in 3 or 4 years.
One of the big advantages of li-fi is the fact that, unlike wi-fi, it does not interfere with other radio signals, so could be utilised on aircraft and in other places where interference is an issue… But the technology also has its drawbacks—most notably the fact that it cannot be deployed outdoors in direct sunlight, because that would interfere with its signal. Neither can the technology travel through walls so initial use is likely to be limited to places where it can be used to supplement wi-fi networks, such as in congested urban areas or places where wi-fi is not safe, such as hospitals.