LiFi coming to the iPhone

LiFi Coming to the iPhone

An update on the news page of pureLiFi indicates that LiFi will be featured in a future iPhone, with LiFi openly referenced in Apple’s programming code.

pureLiFi is the world leader in developing LiFi products, a phrase coined by the company’s Chief Science Officer, Professor Harald Haas. In short, LiFi is high-speed bidirectional wireless internet, delivered through visible light communications (VLC).

LiFi is predicted to be a £78 billion industry by 2022 and will alleviate the worsening congestion in radio frequency (RF) wave delivered internet. Where Wi-Fi has top speeds of 54Mbps, LiFi will give real-time speeds of 1Gbps and the technology has already been demonstrated at 3Gbps. 

The technology is so promising, that it has also been tipped to make an appearance on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8

What is LiFi?

What is LiFi

LiFi is a light-based communication technology that will deliver high-speed internet, over the air, in a similar way to Wi-Fi. There are some big differences though:

  • LiFi works in the visible light portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, in contrast to Wi-Fi that uses radio frequency (RF) signals
  • Data is transmitted at very high speeds
  • Information is sent by modulating the light intensity, which is then received by a photo-sensitive detector in a smartphone
  • The modulation of the light is so fast that is not perceptible to the human eye

How LiFi works

Usually a constant current is given to LED light bulb and this creates a constant stream of (light) photons. By modulating the light intensity at high speeds, the photo-detector senses the changes, yet the human eye cannot.

How LiFi works

LiFi uses direct modulation, which is similar to the tech used in infrared controllers, but unlike these, it can achieve very large data rates. 

The next era of wireless charging

The internet, from start to finish, travels through a lamp driver, into an LED bulb and onto the phone’s photo-detector. The LED bulbs can even be dimmed to a point that it isn’t visible to the human eye, for when actual lighting of a space isn’t required.

The benefits of LiFi

The benefits of LiFi

The many benefits of LiFi includes:

  • Capacity - 1,000 times the data density of Wi-Fi and without the interference that RF typically experiences. In addition to this the signal strength can effectively been seen, with where there is light, there is internet.
  • Cost - Lower costs are possible as fewer components are needed, compared to RF based technology.
  • Energy efficiency - LED illumination is already efficient and LiFi requires little additional power.
  • Safety - Light has no known health concerns and LiFi avoids creating RF waves that can dangerously interfere with certain electronic circuitry.
  • Security - LiFi will not travel through walls and is confined to the illuminated area. There is no need to pair devices, as the transmission area can be seen.
  • Take-up - As 70% of mobile data traffic originates from indoors, LiFi can quickly be implemented into homes, offices and public spaces.

Breaking barriers

LiFi is perfect for applications that put heavy demands onto down-link bandwidth, such as video, audio and streaming. In addition to this, LiFi can interconnect devices such as computers, tablets, laptops and phones and give absolute security, while transferring information at high data rates.

LiFi can be added where Wi-Fi cannot. It can be fitted into any light, including street lamps and traffic lights. LiFi can also be used to provide the internet underwater or to provide location specific information and promotional offers to the public.

LiFi

LiFi is safe for use on planes and could be used to provide each passenger with in-flight entertainment (IFE), directly onto their own smartphone or tablet. LiFi is also safe for use in hospitals, as it does not interfere with medical equipment.

May’s new phones

The LiFi story has only just begun. In the future we could see LiFi operating through RGB (Red, Green, Blue) LED bulbs, which in theory, could generate internet data speeds of 9Gbps.

Written by: Michael Brown

XS SM MD LG