Li-Fi is an alternative wireless internet system that has been floating around for a few years but electronics conglomerate Philips wants to make it a reality. Philips LiFi Technology is entering a real-world test in a Parisian architecture office where LED light bulbs will replace their conventional Wi-Fi systems.
So how does Li-Fi work? Li-Fi uses visible and infrared light instead of radio signals in order to create a wireless internet network. Internet cables and modems will run through light fixtures. The modem will convert data packets and modulates LED lights in order to transmit signals which are then captured by a USB dongle plugged into a laptop and converted back to data. When uploading, the same USB dongle will send data up to the modem.
This system has several huge benefits. For one, this revolutionary technology is proven to be 100 times faster than Wi-Fi! Additionally, light waves do not penetrate walls or furniture like radio waves do, so it allows to computers to use the same bandwidth without interference. While this does mean that the connection will be dropped if objects get in the way of the LED light and dongle communication, the use of light waves provides more security than radio waves as it is harder to intercept.
“By plugging into a LiFi internet zone users can access and transfer data instantly by using a simple personal USB access key. The LiFi zone is completely secured within the pool of light created by the LED luminaire,” says Philips. Because of the heightened security Philips LiFi system provides, it could find its way into a lot of open-space offices and environments that need to put a big emphasis on security.
Unfortunately, it appears that Li-Fi technology is still a little ways away for home use. However, depending on how the tests go, we could see a mass adoption of Li-Fi tech sooner than later!