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What in the World is Li-Fi?
Li-Fi, Wi-Fi, the future of communication, SmartSource Rentals
Dec 30, 2015 by DeDe Mulligan

More Than 100 Times Faster Than Wi-Fi

Li-Fi is a wireless technology that transmits data through the use of Visible Light Communication (VLC). Last month, researchers at the University of Oxford achieve bi-directional speeds of 224 gigabits per second or in layman’s terms, the ability to download 18 movies in one second.

Because the data transmission is so fast, the flickering of the light cannot be detected by the human eye.

Now, this same group of scientists has taken this test one step further, by putting Li-Fi in the office environment with reported transmission speeds of 1 gigabit per second – that’s right, 100 times than the average Wi-Fi system.

But what is this highly touted method of Internet communication and how can we really use it in the corporate world, at events or even trade shows?

 

What is Li-Fi?

Here is a very brief overview of how Li-Fi works:

 

History of Li-Fi

Li-Fi was invented by Harald Haas, Professor at the University of Edinburgh, in 2011 when he demonstrated that light from an LED bulb could transmit data faster than Wi-Fi at a TED talk in Scotland.

Benefits of Li-Fi 

It is secure.

Because light cannot transmit through walls (unlike Wi-Fi), any transmission that occurs in a Li-Fi area is much more secure. This would be a great use of technology for highly sensitive and confidential transmission of data from one company or governmental entity to another.

It is lightning fast.

It is easy to use.

No hardwired cables, IP configurations or radio waves to worry about – just walk into a LED sourced area and you are up and running.

It does not interfere with radio signals.

Unlike many MiFi devices, this offering does not interfere with Wi-Fi configurations. In fact, it could work in tandem with your existing Wi-Fi infrastructure.

Drawbacks of Li-Fi

It cannot work outdoors.

This is not a solar initiative – it works solely on LED lighting. Therefore, outdoors or any other areas where the lights are not within line-of-sight, turns off the system.

It is unclear how far the signal will travel.

Unlike Wi-Fi where you know how far the signal will go with a degree of certainty, because Li-Fi is so new, it is still unclear how far the array of light can travel.

It is not generally available – yet.

It may not be the practical choice.

Do you remember the days of Beta-max and VHS? Or 8-Track tapes versus cassettes? Usually one technology trumps another as the mainstream choice. While fiber is not readily available everywhere and it is not as fast as Li-Fi, fiber is still 10-15 times faster than current Wi-Fi configurations and it is available now.

 

Key Takeaways

 

While Li-Fi is certainly a very exciting breakthrough in Internet communications, as of today it is hardly an option for businesses or events. Until price points and reliability studies are completed, it may be just something we know about and is a cool, lab offering.

On the other hand, it is something to keep your eye on, along with improvements to Wi-Fi and fiber technology.

 

SmartSource Rentals Has Wi-Fi Options

 

If you are looking for a high performance wireless network will keep your employees or attendees connected to the Internet both inside and outdoors, contact SmartSource Rentals and request a rental quote today!

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