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Can Li-Fi Replace Conventional Wireless Technologies?

Originally posted on makeuseof.

Li-Fi is a new way of networking data wirelessly. But can Li-Fi really replace Wi-Fi

Li-Fi has taken over the mantle from Wi-Fi in providing high speed data connectivity and bandwidth by utilizing LED light bulbs. These bulbs have attached microchips that serve as access points.

Li-Fi tech solves the fundamental problems of conventional wireless technologies such as RF interference, spectrum saturation, and even cabling challenges.

Li-Fi Enables Next Generation Wireless Connectivity

You can depend on this Li-Fi tech as it supports features that are critical in providing seamless wireless connectivity.

1. Speed

Li-Fi allows you to stay mobile and still access the internet at a mind boggling speed of about 100 times the conventional Wi-Fi systems. It also supports multi-user access.

2. Ubiquitous

Li-Fi allows any light source (i.e. a street light or a vehicle light) to be used for wireless connectivity and communications.

3. Reliable

Li-Fi can provide uninterrupted wireless connectivity in anti-RF environments such as hospitals, planes, etc. Additionally, the tech is reliable as it enables interference free communications.

4. Unprecedented Bandwidth

Li-Fi enables unlimited data access with increased capacity by utilizing the photonic data spectrum. The massive capacity is 1000 times greater than the RF spectrum used traditionally.

5. Secure

Li-Fi transmissions are restrictive and location specific. Hence, the risk of data leak or attack by a cybercriminal is minimal in this case.

6. Efficient

Li-Fi is easy to deploy as it uses existing wiring and infrastructure. Thus, it puts a check on expenses incurred in acquiring, installing, configuring and then managing the network equipment.

7. Affordable

LEDs are known to use less energy than standard bulbs in a lighting system. They tend to last 6X longer and provide better illumination than conventional bulbs.

8. Latency

Li-Fi latency is three times lower than conventional Wi-Fi systems. This allows Li-Fi to leverage advanced augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications.

Will Li-Fi Operate Effectively in a Well-Lit Room or Sunlight?

Li-Fi is operational even in broad daylight when there is substantial sunlight. The primary reason for this is that the minute light intensity modulations of LEDs are evidently detectable even in bright sunlight conditions.

Here, it is important to note that Li-Fi operates on detection of rapidly changing light intensity and stays unaffected by sunlight that produces slow light variations. Fundamentally, light in a Li-Fi is modulated at very high rates, however, sunlight is a form of constant light which can be filtered out at the receiving device.

What Are the Real World Use Cases of Li-Fi?

Li-Fi boosts productivity with high speed data transmission and secure communications. It allows high bandwidth applications to come to reality that we seemingly impossible with conventional systems in place. Let’s look at some of the real world use cases of Li-Fi.

1. Communications

A Li-Fi enabled light is uniquely identified with an IP address. This facilitates complex geofencing and allows user behavior analysis by tracking and analyzing user data as they interact with an online media via the Li-Fi enabled light. Light IP addresses help in application of layers of security to underlying Li-Fi lights.

2. Defense

Li-Fi cuts down the possibility of external attacks as Li-Fi signals are contained within a defined area. Further, wireless connections are restricted only to locations where light shines, unlike conventional wireless tech. This inherent property of Li-Fi to secure data is the reason for its strong contention against other wireless technologies.

According to BBC News, light technology has now entered the US military camp. PureLi-Fi recently announced the 4.2 million dollar deal to provide an optical wireless communication arsenal to the United States Army Europe and Africa. Li-Fi is thereby set to play a pivotal role in the future of defense communications.

3. Academics

Li-Fi can serve well to the education industry as one can have a better learning experience with high-bandwidth. Also, massive capacity promotes the accessibility of streaming educational videos, and downloading of educational material or resources. Immersive educational experience with the aid of AR and VR can also be experienced well with Li-Fi.

According to pure Li-Fi, it has already deployed its Li-Fi solutions at Kyle Academy secondary school in Ayr, Scotland to establish wireless internet connections. As Li-Fi makes its way into the education sector, the future is only expected to get better from hereon.

4. Smart Cities

Li-Fi enabled street lights and car lights (headlight and tail-light) help in effective traffic management. It can also establish vehicular networks with better vehicle to vehicle communication as they share critical data such as congestion information, driving conditions and even optimal routes to get to a destination. Li-Fi tech can therefore help in minimizing road accidents, thereby making your life safer than before.

Li-Fi enabled LED lighting in urban street lighting and car head – and taillights enable enhanced traffic management with vehicle-to-vehicle communication, minimizing the risk of accidents and sharing information on congestion, driving conditions, and optimal routes.

Li-Fi can also be deployed in smart offices as a part of the smart cities paradigm. According to The SmartCitiesWorld, Icade, the French real estate investment company piloted Philips Li-Fi enabled lights at its smart office in Paris.

5. Air Travel

Li-Fi eliminate conventional radio waves that act as a source of electromagnetic disturbances. Instead it provides air travelers with highly secure connections with speeds of up to 100 Mbps per person. This includes services such as streaming of 4K videos, bandwidth hungry video games, and other additional services.

6. Wireless Solutions

Li-Fi could as well serve as an energy-efficient alternative to 5G, LTE and Wi-Fi technologies in all probability. It could help in minimizing interference in densely populated areas. The tech may as well aid in off-loading devices and instead free up capacity for other users.

7. Healthcare

Li-Fi can be deployed anywhere, especially in sensitive areas that are prone to electromagnetic pollution and in turn offer high speed data connectivity to lifesaving devices. Li-Fi further enable easy access to information and patient monitoring tools for better patient outcomes.

8. Industry 4.0

Li-Fi facilitates faster accessibility to real time updates and insights that can reduce downtime based on the anticipation and planning for timely maintenance of machinery. This can result in increased production, reduced expenses and high standard delivery of services.

Li-Fi: Next-Gen Wireless Tech Is Here To Stay

As LEDs become a common source of lighting for every household, they’re potentially opening up a new paradigm for connecting handheld devices to the internet. It remains to be seen how Li-Fi technology which offers the wider bandwidth and quicker response time than Wi-Fi alters the wireless tech landscape.

Source: makeuseof

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