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Internet Connections Using Light Bulbs

By Paul Pajarillo , Nov 30, 2015 04:05 AM EST
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Estonia-based company Velmini has developed a communication technology that uses lights to enable fast internet connections. The light-fidelity technology permits secure broadband connectivity of up to 224 gigabytes per second.

Internet connectivity with light-speed capabilities may arrive sooner than expected. An innovation known as Li-Fi use light waves from LED bulbs to transport internet connections which is 100 times faster than Wi-Fi, more secure and cheaper when compared.

Velmini, a company based in Tallinn, Estonia, has been able to demonstrate visible light communication in a real-world setup that uses Li-Fi light-emitting diode bulbs. This innovation was also tested to transmit a rate of one gigabit per second. Moreover, the Li-Fi laboratory conducted a test that simulated up to 224 gigabytes per second. In comparison, Li-Fi uses light waves while the traditional Wi-Fi technology uses radio waves that interfere with other frequencies.

Bell Labs, an Alcatel-Lucent company based in New Jersey, set a record at 10 gigabytes per second last year, which was the fastest broadband connection at the moment. However, this was of little consolation to many parts of the world with slow to poor internet access.

Harald Haas, a German physicist, was the one who discovered light fidelity. The technology is capable of data transmissions through flickering light beams from an LED bulb with a solar panel attached to a computer, which acts as the receiver.

As light fidelity uses available lights from the environment including a flashlight or lights from an iPhone, people do not need to turn off their wireless devices even when in flight. However, this technology is not meant to replace the good old Wi-Fi routers, since light fidelity cannot travel through walls unlike radio waves that Wi-Fi routers use. In addition, Li-Fi does not work in direct sunlight or outdoors.

Haas, the inventor of the Li-Fi technology, is the chair of the Mobile Communications Department at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He is also the co-founder of pureLiFi, a small cybersecurity company in Europe. In addition, he stated that the Li-Fi technology might be available to the public between a two-to-three-year timeframe.

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