Today im going to blog about the activity we did in class and then tell you a little bit about this new technology called Li-Fi.
In our previous class we were asked to answer a few questions related to which area of I.T. we find the most interesting. Completing the answers to the questions should help us to figure out and decide which subject we will choose for our assignment 3 research assignment.
For me it was quite challenging trying to answer the questions given to me. I am interested in most areas of information technology so ultimately answering this question was impossible. I decided to go with something that has been quite prominent in tech news lately and that is Virtual Reality Gaming.
VR is a huge step for gaming and is allowing us to be immersed deep into our gaming world(s). The technology is still fresh and a few of the major VR headset players are yet to release their products but give them a few years and we’ll all be powering up our consoles and computers to escape into our alternate realities.
Of course such immersion may make gaming far more addictive for some and the psychologic effects of such addictions is still unknown but playing games in VR is certainly an exciting prospect.
Ever had the problem of multiple people using the same Wi-Fi and slowing your throughput down to a crawl? How about a large file that you need to download and you only have Wi-Fi access so it takes forever and a day to download?
Wouldn’t it be nice to have fibre speeds wirelessly?
Well, now we do and it’s called Li-Fi. Li-Fi technology uses visible light communication (VLC), a technology created by Harold Haas, to transmit data at incredibly high speeds. In a lab environment testers were able to transmit data at speeds of up to 224 gigabits per second, yes you read right GIGABITS!.(“New Li-Fi Internet Is 100 Times Faster Than Wi-Fi”, 2015)
The way Li-Fi works is it transmits on-off signals via an LED light flashing at extremely fast speed in order to relay messages in binary code. The flashing of these lights is too fast for the human eye to perceive so will not cause a nuisance visually.
Image credit: Illustration showing how Li-Fi could be operated in an office setting, with data being transmitted by ambient LED lights using visible light communication. (Little, 2010)
The first test in a real world trial by the Estonian company Velmenni has produced speeds of about 1 gigabit per second which while much slower than the lab tests speeds are still double the current Wi-Fi speeds available which are in the vicinity of 600 megabits per second.(“New Li-Fi Internet Is 100 Times Faster Than Wi-Fi”, 2015)
There are other benefits to this technology as well as fast speeds:
- Light cannot travel through walls making local network more secure
- Much wider frequency range than Wi-Fi
- Light bulbs will become multi-functional
- Current LED bulbs could easily be fitted with the Li-Fi technology by fitting a small microchip inside them.(“New Li-Fi Internet Is 100 Times Faster Than Wi-Fi”, 2015)
However there is a problem with the Li-Fi technology as the moment, the signal is lost once the connected device leaves the room. Fixing this problem is crucial in order to make the technology more attractive.
There are many other areas that this technology can and will be used, if interested I encourage you to read the article by Thomas Little of Boston University here:http://www.bu.edu/smartlighting/files/2010/01/Little_ERC_Talk.pdf , the article is reasonably old (2010) but does show many other uses for VLC .
It’s going to be interesting whether this technology will replace Wi-Fi or work in combination to achieve a better overall result. One things for sure: I’ll be watching this space closely.
New Li-Fi Internet Is 100 Times Faster Than Wi-Fi. (2015). IFLScience. Retrieved 17 May 2016, from http://www.iflscience.com/technology/li-fi-internet-could-be-100-times-faster-wi-fi-0
LiFi internet: First real-world usage boasts speed 100 times faster than WiFi. (2015). International Business Times UK. Retrieved 17 May 2016, from http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/lifi-internet-first-real-world-usage-boasts-speed-100-times-faster-wifi-1530021
Little, T. (2010). How Smart Lighting Fills a Gap in Wireless Communications (1st ed.). Boston: Boston University. Retrieved from http://www.bu.edu/smartlighting/files/2010/01/Little_ERC_Talk.pdf