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What Is Li-Fi?

Short for Light Fidelity, Li-Fi refers to the technology of using light to transfer data between devices. While Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) has become the mainstay of wireless communications in the present era, Li-Fi’s full potential is yet to be unlocked. While Wi-Fi utilizes radio waves to transmit data, Li-Fi uses visible light, infrared and ultraviolet light to achieve data communications. To better understand Li-Fi, here’s a quick overview of its various practical uses and benefits.

Hack proof: As compared to Wi-Fi signals that can pass through walls, Li-Fi cannot cross such physical barriers. So, if you are using Li-Fi, your communications will be safer inside a room. Nobody from outside will be able to intercept your communications. In comparison, Wi-Fi signals can travel through barriers and face the risk of getting compromised.

High data transfer speed: Your home Wi-Fi can transfer data up to 300 mbps with the 2.4 GHz band and around 430 mbps with the 5 GHz band. This may be quite fast, but you will be surprised to know that Li-Fi can be even faster. In laboratory tests, researchers have been able to reach data transfer speed of more than 224 gbps using Li-Fi. Even if we can achieve 10% of this speed in a home environment, it would still be many times faster than Wi-Fi.

Zero radiation risk: As you may be aware, all Wi-Fi devices emit radiation, which can be harmful to our body. In comparison, Li-Fi utilizes visible light from the electromagnetic spectrum, which does not pose any health risks.

Underwater exploration: At present, unmanned underwater explorations have to rely on long wires for communications, as radio waves are unable to work inside water. This limits their usefulness and effectiveness. Li-Fi can work as a better alternative, as light can travel up to 1,000 meters inside water. Li-Fi can be used to guide remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) for underwater exploration.

Connect IoT devices: Your home in the future will be a place where all your appliances, gadgets, computers and other digital machines will be interconnected. Li-Fi can provide a safe and convenient way to connect these devices.

Limitations of Li-Fi

As of now, Li-Fi is capable at working only at close range. Moreover, it cannot pass through physical objects that block light.

Li-Fi is great for hobbyists, as the technology can be made to work in our homes with the use of easily available components such as LED light, card-sized solar panel, resistor, couple of wires and battery. As researchers work to overcome the limitations of Li-Fi, we could see Li-Fi emerging as a popular choice for wireless communications in the future.

About Satya Singh

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