LED Takes Internet to the Next Level with Li-Fi
Chinese scientist might have just opened doors for a technology revolution by claiming to have successfully connected four computers to the internet through the use of a one-watt LED bulb, according to a report by Xinhua News.
Scientists at Fudan University in Shanghai have found a way to use light as a carrier of radio frequencies. The LED bulbs have microchips embedded inside which enables them to send data through pulses of light at a rate of 150 mbps, faster than the current connection speed in China and the U.S. average of 8.8 mbps.
Coined Li-Fi by Professor Harold Hass from the University of Edinburg in 2011, it is expected to be cost-efficient and energy-efficient. “The current wireless signal transmission equipment is expensive and low in efficiency,” said Professor Chi Nan, the leading scientist working on the project in China. Li-Fi uses visible light which is part of the electromagnetic system, vastly larger than the radio spectrum which provides an almost unlimited capacity rate.
The technology is still in the early stages of research and development and is not expected to reach store shelves any time soon. The current design still has some kinks to work out. One major problem is that if the light source is blocked or turned off, the internet signal is dropped. However, Chinese scientists are optimistic that this technology will help solve the overwhelming issue for large rural areas that are off the grid and unable to connect with telecommunications.
"In the future you will not only have 14 billion (LED) light bulbs, you may also have 14 billion Li-Fi's deployed worldwide for a cleaner, greener, and even brighter future,” said Hass.