Wi-Fi Make Room for Li-Fi

Bodie Czeladka
By Bodie Czeladka

For an expanse of the population, wireless internet is not a luxury, it’s a right. We swarm free Wi-Fi like children on Santas’ knee, or zombies at the smell of flesh. And if your Wi-Fi is slow, or won’t connect, you can just about guarantee someone will pop a blood-vessel if their Facebook won’t load. Healthy cynicism aside, here at Dilate we rely on the internet as the crutch of our industry. So developments like the fabled Li-Fi, operating at 100 the speed of W-Fi, are pretty exciting for us, and probably of interest to you too since this is the next big step in wireless technology, estimating a download speed of 23 DVD’s per second.

This technology operates from the frequencies emitted from LED bulbs, which flicker at imperceptible speeds per second, dubbed the ‘digital equivalent of Morse Code’. The bulbs are decked out with a microchip and relies on light waves to transmit the signal instead of radio waves. At a recent Mobile World Congress Fair in Barcelona, a smartphone started playing a video as soon as it was placed under a lamp fitted with the LED lights. Even Apple are toying with the idea of integrating the technology with upcoming iPhones, as the spectrum of radio waves which Wi-Fi requires is finite, where Li-Fi is a promising alternative. Watch Video

All said and done, it’s still a bit like that getting excited for Christmas in April. It is still a laboratory technology, and is still negotiating some drawbacks. For example, it cannot travel through walls the way that Wi-Fi can, instead relying on the device being directly exposed to the light -athough this still makes it an option for places where Wi-Fi causes interference, or a single hotspot is preferable, such as hospitals, aircrafts, or schools.

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