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Li-Fi Has anyone heard of this new technology


IRUNL8R

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I was told today about a new technology that may be coming down the road. It uses visual light communications to transport data instead of radio waves (Wi-Fi).

I am not sure about anything else on the subject, so thought I would put it to the forums to see if anyone can confirm or deny it exists? Li-Fi is what is called. I was told that it can transmit data at 100x faster than wi-fi.

Technomadia have you guys heard of this??

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Yes, I'm aware of it. It uses the visible light spectrum, rather than the radio spectrum for digital transmission. It shows great promise but it is not in the commercial sphere yet.

Yes I was told that it isn't available yet for consumers. I am wondering since it has the word "visual" in it, does that mean it won't be able to go room to room like sound/radio waves? You would have to be close to the source as well???

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There's nothing new about modulating light waves to transmit information--that's how fiber optic cables work. If you read the Wikipedia article on LiFi you will see that it is primarily being directed at applications where radio frequency interference is a concern. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li-Fi Since radio waves can go through many materials that light cannot and since light waves are more heavily attentuated by the atomosphere than are most radio frequencies, it is unlikely that any visible light-based system would ever be serious competition for conventional wifi. The higher bandwidth capability of Lifi is a function of the higher frequency of the "carrier", but it is more than offset by these other limitations.

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does that mean it won't be able to go room to room like sound/radio waves? You would have to be close to the source as well???

 

Exactly. Well.. to some extent. Light does bounce. It's been a few months since I did any reading on it, but if I recall correctly, they were saying something to the effect that if the transmitter is placed correctly, they were still able to achieve 70% strength of signal down a 15' hallway from an adjacent room.

 

I can see the benefit where radio interference might be a concern.. or in mass transit applications like in aircraft, but in my lifetime I don't see it becoming an end user technology.

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The current thinking is that the transmitters will be installed in LED light bulbs and you will be able to populate your home, etc. with these bulbs. You will need a source to get the signal into your home, which will probably be either cable or Wifi. This is still many years from implementation, if at all.

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I think the simplified comparisons would be OTA TV and cable TV, or WiFi and Ethernet, but in the light spectrum. Fiber optic technology without the fiber...

OTA TV and WiFi will pass through walls, etc. LiFi will not. So the access will still have to be delivered to your home and the LiFi used as a type of router. To pass from one floor of a house or building to another will require the light source to see each other. So there will be limitations. It does not work like a broadcast wifi access point in that regard. Chuck

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OTA TV and WiFi will pass through walls, etc. LiFi will not. So the access will still have to be delivered to your home and the LiFi used as a type of router. To pass from one floor of a house or building to another will require the light source to see each other. So there will be limitations. It does not work like a broadcast wifi access point in that regard. Chuck

 

Of course there are fundamental differences and limitations, but my point was to compare the forms of light transmission technology. I think using fiber 'wire' versus free air as the transmission medium has obvious similarities to the lower frequency technologies I mentioned. Then again, using an appropriate laser light source could overcome the wall limitation... :D

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