We just got used to Wi-Fi when the new technology of Li-FI is already announced. This technique uses light beams to transfer data at a speed 100 times faster than the fastest Wi-Fi-network.

First test launched in real-life.

So far, the technique has only been tested in a lab environment, but now a real life environment is set up in Tallinn, Estonia. An office building in the Estonian capital is doing the pilot project to use Li-Fi as its access to the Internet. First tests reported they achieved a data transmission of 1GB per second.

How does this work?

The technology used is called VLC (Visible Light Communication).  When a constant current is sent to a LED light bulb, a constant stream of photons is emitted from the bulb, showing a visible light beam.

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When this current is varied, the light beam can be modified to go on and off. This is done at a very high speed, imperceptible to the human eye. On the receiving end, a photo-detector device is receiving this flickering light and converts it back to electrical current.

What are the advantages?

Besides the fact that this method is much faster than Wi-Fi, it is also much more secure: Because light does not travel through walls, data transmitted in a room can’t be hacked from outside.  However this may also be a disadvantage, since you need visible connection with the light. There is also less risk of interference from other devices nearby.

Li-Fi was invented in Scotland.

The first test was done in 2011 by Harald Haas at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where he demonstrated that by modulating light in a single LED, data could be transmitted at giant speeds.  In 2012, Haas and his team established a new enterprise called pureLife in Edinburgh to do further studies on the technology and to commercialize it.

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There is no info yet on when this will be available for the public, but it will probably take another 3 to 4 years. If tests in Estonia work well, the team of pureLife hopes to eventually have the technology available in every house. All that is needed is to fit a small microchip into every illumination device and a receiver. #News #Apple #Science