Li-Fi: the near future of Communication and Networking
What is the foremost thing that you ask for in a hotel or a restaurant, much before getting the room keys or even a glass of water? Clearly, the Wi-Fi password. To evolve better, faster and deeper connectivity in this modern world of networking, a wireless networking medium is a must. One such choice is the Li-Fi (Light Fidelity) similar to the much popular Wi-Fi. So what makes it worthy to be so special? Have a look below to quench the quest.
Better than Wi-Fi?
Truly yes! Wi-Fi has been the giant in the area of connectivity, internet services and data access. But transmitting and receiving data through conventional radio waves, converting it into its binary form and vice versa; this has certain limitations. What makes Li-Fi reliable is that it uses the frequencies of infrared, visible light and ultraviolet regions from the light spectrum (at present the visible light region is the only one in use), providing it with a broader range of bandwidths. As radio wave transmission systems have certain evident hitches at present, lights prove to be a better choice.
How does it work?
Li-Fi is a significant advancement in Visible light Communications (VLC) systems which embarks a bright future to the present lighting and communication techniques. LEDs are current driven devices, which mean that the output light intensity can be controlled with respect to the input current. Use of LEDs along with special LED driver circuits, making them switch at tremendous speeds from ON and OFF is the primary input. The receiving system converts those minute & rapid changes in light intensity to electrical signals and then to binary data streams (LED On= Digital 1, LED Off= Digital 0). Any IOT device can have an easy access to communication with Li-Fi. Use of LEDs with large switching rates does not hinder much in the light output; thus the same LED bulb can be used for data transmission as well as for illumination. That simple!
What makes it a better option?
Even though the technology is not that well developed, the present progress is really worthy to be noted.
- Increased bandwidth (Maximum frequencies in the visible light regions of the light spectrum can be used, nearly from 400-800 THz)
- Wider working range (Can work even in highly dense regions due to its resistance to interference issues)
- Faster speed (about 1Gbps-10Gbps of data transfer)
- Easy data transmission (No direct interference)
- Secure and provides more privacy (Light cannot penetrate through opaque structures and hence the data transmission is secure)
- Easily accessible (A suitable light source which supports the technology is the only requirement)
- Preferred for attaining internet requirements for underwater operations, in cellular network restricted zones, in EMI sensitive areas such as aircraft.
- Highly energy efficient.
Where does it need enhancement?
- Since it is a technology that works through visible light, the interceptions from outdoor light sources including sunlight will interfere with the data flow.
- The physical fencings such as room walls or even non-transparent objects limit the range of operation; hence they cannot be used for outdoors without certainly advanced gradations in the existing mechanisms.
- The purpose of Li-Fi is bi-directional data communication. An entirely new setup is to be introduced to get the Li-Fi network-based products into the market, which will be really expensive. The device which is accepting the data needs a transmitter to communicate back to the source. Hence the current phones and laptops in use will need a different infrastructure to make efficient utilization of this futuristic technology.
The technology has wide scope in areas where the present radio signals and cellular network systems cannot reach. Internet services in aircraft systems, Effective road transportation traffic management, data communication from underwater regions, and better means for education are the topics under discussion.
In the near future, every artificial light source is going to be a Li-Fi hotspot.
Let’s hope for a Li-Fi world.