How Wi-Fi could get a boost from Li-Fi

Wi-Fi has had an enormous impact on mobile computing use, enabling employees to access corporate networks from anywhere and turning coffee shops into offices for independent workers. It also has its shortcomings, which is where a new standard, Li-Fi, could one day fill in the gaps, assuming it can make it to market.

The trouble with Wi-Fi? It doesn’t travel far, especially through walls. It is notoriously insecure and easy to spoof by hackers. And even with the bandwidth increases over the years, an access point can be overwhelmed rather easily when too many people try to access it at the same time.

Throwing more Wi-Fi at the problem is at best a partial solution. It doesn’t solve the issues of security and only partially solves the scalability issue.  

Enter Li-Fi, or Light Fidelity, an emerging wireless protocol that uses visible light spectrum to provide wireless networking access. A Li-Fi transmitter uses LED lights to modulate light intensity – mostly beyond what our eyes can perceive – and that is read as data by a photosensitive receiver. Because LEDs already use a chip to control their output they can modulate lights up to millions of times per second, theoretically allowing them to transmit data up to 100 times faster than WiFi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *