When I was a child, the first thing I used to look for when I went to the restaurant with my parents was the chewing-gum ball machine. Today, when I go to the restaurant with my children, the first thing they ask for is: “Do you have Wi-Fi ?”.
I have to admit that I am also looking for this popular Wi-Fi symbol that is now completely part of our everyday’s uses and that has a soothing effect as we can make a Google researches and have an immediate answer. But nowadays technologies are there to make us more efficient, more rapid and more effective, we now have a new tool in our interactive world which is called Li-Fi.
You already must have already heard about Li-Fi, but what does it mean? Li-Fi aka Light-Fidelity is already seen as the worthy successor of Wi-Fi, the difference is data transmission is not made via radio waves but via light. Li-Fi light signals (invisible for us) are transmitted thanks to LED lights.
This technology consists of using high frequency light in order to encode and to send information, just like morse code. Whereas Wi-Fi uses the part of the electromagnetic spectrum, Li-Fi works with the invisible part of the spectrum which is called the light spectrum.
The positive parts of Li-Fi data transmission:
Data travel more quickly
The Li-Fi brand is 10.000 times larger than the Wi-Fi one
A larger Li-Fi users can connect at the same time to a single hotspot
Light does not pass through walls and allows therefore a safer network
Li-Fi avoids computer hacking
The French start-up Oledcomm, specialized in this technology, made a demonstration at the occasion of the Mobile World Congress. The company gives an idea of the Li-Fi speed by testing its use in labs and it is 100 times quicker than Wi-Fi, “you could transfer 23 DVDs in 1 second”.
Li-Fi has a disadvantage: if the light does not pass through the walls, this means that its use is limited to a restricted space. But many people will then agree that it is worthwhile to safely download your data, without having still unknown side effects of radio waves on the human body.
"Li-Fi has a place in hospitals because it does not create interference with medical materials," said Joel Denimal, head of French lighting manufacturer Coolight.
It could also be useful on aircrafts, in underground garages and any place where lack of Internet connection is an issue.
Did you know that?
Just a small historical reminder: Alexander Graham Bell was the first to data transfer via light beams and could send the sound of his voice to a hundred mile thanks to light.
Now, is Li-Fi going to be an addendum or an extension or a successor to Wi-Fi? Will we be looking for Li-Fi as much as we are looking for Wi-Fi symbol? We will certainly have the answer within a few months….