Presently WiFi is transmitting data through radio waves but can only transfer so much at a time. The base stations responsible for transmitting radio waves only function at about 5 per cent efficiency, most of the energy being used to cool the stations. For those transmitting sensitive data, security is also a problem, as radio waves travel through solid objects such as walls and doors.
But, LiFi, or light fidelity, which is on trials with office tests in Tallin, Estonia has achieved speeds of 1 GB per second, 100 times the speed of traditional WiFi. Scientists have achieved speeds in the lab of up to 224 GB per second. That’s the equivalent of downloading 18 movies in the blink of an eye.
By 2019, it is estimated that the world will be exchanging roughly 35 quintillion bytes of information each month. Because radio frequencies are already in use and heavily regulated, WiFi is simply running out of space and not an efficient solution.
As visible light has a spectrum 10,000 times larger than radio waves LiFi has the potential to transmit the same information using thousands of data streams simultaneously. LiFi works by flashing LED lights on and off at incredibly fast speeds, sending data to a receiver in binary code. The flashes occur so fast that the naked eye does not see them.
Any illumination device with a microchip would then combine two basic functionalities — illumination and wireless data transmission. We can use the LED bulbs we already have, with some tweaking.
Source: The Economic Times