Monday, 20 June 2016

Wireless internet through your lights

A new wireless internet access technology called li-fi has been announced, which transmits data through light via standard LED bulbs.
This method of wireless transmission doesn't suffer from the interference of traditional wi-fi and offers speeds 100 times faster, up to 1Gbps (gigabit per second) which is 1000 Mbps (megabits per second). However, lab tests have shown theoretical speeds of up to 224Gbps.
The technology was tested this week by Estonian company Velmenni, in an office environment, allowing workers to access the internet.
The technology works by using a controller to vary the current to an LED bulb (or bulbs) at very high speed, varying the intensity of the light output enough to be detected by a photodetector device connected to a computer, but not enough to be noticed by the human eye.
Any LED lightbulb could be controlled in this way to offer the very high speed internet connection, but there are some downsides. The technology doesn't work outside in daylight for example, because of the presence of the sun. Plus of course, you need to have the lights on for li-fi to work.
The fact that li-fi doesn't cause or suffer from the radio interference of traditional wi-fi is a big plus though, allowing it to be used on aircraft, in hospitals and other such sensitive environments.
Velmenni chief executive Deepak Solanki has stated that the technology could reach consumers within three to four years.

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