Whether you’re using a wireless internet in a coffee shop, stealing it from the guy next door, or competing for bandwidth at a conference, you’ve probably gotten frustrated of the slow speeds you face when more than one device is tapped into the network. As the number of internet users increases day by day, their devices access wireless internet, clogging airwaves which are going to make it increasingly difficult to latch onto a reliable signal.
But hold on a second, if we see carefully then, radio waves are just one part of the spectrum that can carry our data. What if we could use other waves to surf the internet??..Looking forward to this concept, Dr. Harald Haas, a German Physicist has come up with a solution that he names as “Data Through Illumination”.
It aims at sending data through an LED bulb that varies in intensity much faster than what a normal human eye can follow. It’s the same idea behind infrared remote controls but is far more powerful.
D-Light can produce data rates as faster as 10 megabits per second, which has a lot more speed than your average broadband connection – says, Haas.
Dr. Haas envisions a future where data for laptops, smartphones, and tablets would be transmitted through the light in a room. And security would be just a snap — if you can’t see the light, you can’t access the data. Simple!
Li-Fi is basically a VLC(Visible Light Communication) technology developed by a team of scientists including Dr. Gordon Povey, Prof. Harald Haas and Dr. Mostafa Afgani at the University of Edinburgh. At TED global Conference, Prof. Haas amazed people by streaming a high-definition video from a standard LED lamp.
“It is typically implemented using white LED light bulbs. These devices are normally used for illumination by applying a constant current through the LED. However, by fast and subtle variations of the current, the optical output can be made to vary at extremely high speeds. Unseen by the human eye, this variation is then used to carry high-speed data,” says Dr. Povey, Product Manager of the University of Edinburgh’s Li-Fi Program ‘D-Light Project’.
In simple terms, Li-Fi can be thought of as a light-based Wi-Fi i.e. it uses light instead of radio waves to transmit information. And instead of Wi-Fi modems, Li-Fi would use transceiver-fitted LED lamps that can light a room as well as transmit and receive information. Since simple light bulbs are used, there can technically be any number of access points.
It has already achieved blisteringly high speeds in the lab. Researchers at the Heinrich Hertz Institute in Berlin, Germany, have reached data rates of over 500 megabytes per second using a standard white-light LED. It is even capable of transmitting data at 100 MB/s – faster than most UK broadband connections.
Thus, Visible Light Communication can potentially solve the problem of lack of spectrum space which could then be used for communication at very high speeds. Such advancements promise an efficient exchange of information among various people and organizations. This can definitely bring about a revolution in our internet experience.
Well, I’m desperately looking forward to the day when I would be downloading at a speed of 100Mbps..! Excited..!