Although everyone is talking about 5G now, there are other technologies that are slowly moving under the radar, and that could offer simple solutions for different environments. One of them is LiFi, which generates headlines from time to time, although it still lacks density to form a value proposition that the consumer can take into account.
What is LiFi
According to Wikipedia, Lifi (acronym for the English term light fidelity —LI-Fi—) is the term for labeling fast and low-cost wireless communications systems using light, bi-directional data transmission technology faster than optical Wi-Fi.
Until now, measurements show that it is 100 times faster than some Wi-Fi technologies, reaching speeds of up to 224 gigabits per second.
It consists of a wireless communication that uses the visible or near ultraviolet (UV) and near infrared (NIR) light of the electromagnetic spectrum (instead of radio frequency waves), part of the optical wireless communication technology, which carries much more information.
Simplifying, LiFi is a traditional lighting point with an internet connection.
The Research and Markets consultancy estimated in 2018 that the market for this technology could reach a value of 35.82 billion dollars in ten years.
In June 2019, the “Light Communications Alliance” (LCA) with the aim of promoting new wireless technologies that allow the development of communication through light. The entity will promote and highlight the benefits, use cases and adoption deadlines of Li-Fi technology, and will promote the definition of its standards.
LiFi applications would allow reliable and secure high-speed wireless communication, with low latency, in areas where certain radio frequencies do not arrive with enough power due to sensitive environments or when wireless communications are not allowed due to safety regulations. .
Advantages and disadvantages of LiFi
Some of the advantages are:
- The data transmission speed is very high (it can go from 15 Mb / s to 20 Gb / s)
- There is no interference with radio frequency elements since its means of transmission is light, so it can be used in places where Wi-Fi does not reach
- Does not require complex circuits or antennas or receivers, as LIFI uses infrared-like modulation methods
- At the same time that a place is illuminated, you can have a lifi signal, which would save energy
- It can allow connections under water or in airplanes, and other places where now you can not have signal
- Visible light waves do not pass through objects, as radio waves do, so if there is interference (something hides the light source) the signal is lost.
- The range of the light beam of the LEDs is not very wide, as it only reaches 5 or 10 meters
Signify took the first step
Under the name of Trulifi, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) introduced in 2019 a LiFi system that uses light waves instead of radio signals (such as WiFi, 4G / 5G, Bluetooth, etc.) to provide wireless technology for transmitting and receiving data, using the lighting infrastructure to provide reliable and secure high-speed broadband connectivity of up to 250 Mbps.
Getac applies LiFi to mobile computing
Last year we echoed GeTac’s initiative to integrate LiFi into its devices, through the alliance with PureLiFi. Now Getac has announced that its newly announced tablet rugged UX10 It will be the first to integrate the technology to be used with LiFi without the need for adapters.
According to Getac, these are the advantages of using LiFi in devices:
- Improved privacy and security: Light can be more easily contained than radio waves, and secured in physical space. As a result, it is much less vulnerable to hacking or hijacking, while offering greater control over network location, asset tracking, and user authentication.
- Superior connection quality: LiFi offers a data density a thousand times higher than RF-based networks, resulting in higher reliability and interference-free communications. LiFi also does not interfere with RF signals, which means that both networks can operate simultaneously in the same physical space.
- Extremely low latency: Light-based data connections have significantly lower latency than radio-frequency-based technology, which can radically enable innovation, automation, and the use of advanced applications such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). ).