Chinese scientists have successfully developed a cheaper and more efficient way connecting to the Internet by using signals sent through light bulbs. This happens to be very different from the current Wi-Fi technology, which uses radio frequencies.
According to the the team of researchers at Fudan University, the project modulated Internet signals to a 1watt LED lamp. When exposed to light from this lamp, four computers were able to access the Internet through the new technology.
"A lightbulb with embedded microchips can produce data rates as fast as 150 megabits per second, which is speedier than the average broadband connection in China", said Chi, who leads a LiFi research team including scientists from the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. She also added that "the current wireless signal transmission equipment is expensive and low in efficiency".
Haral Hass from the University of Edinburgh has been credited with coining the term Li-Fi, which reffers to a light communication technology that delivers networked, high speed communication solutions which are somewhat similar to today's popular Wi-Fi.
The researcher also noted that current wireless signal transmission equipment is expensive and low in terms of efficiency. "As for cell phones, millions of base stations have been established around the world to strengthen the signal but most of the energy is consumed on their cooling systems," she explained, but noted the energy utilization rate was only 5 percent."
Is Li-FI commercially viable? Not really, there is still a long way to go. "If the light is blocked, then the signal will be cut off," she explained.
Even though the technology has a lot of potential, it still has a long way to go. Until then, enjoy your Wi-Fi technology.