Li-Wi -The Future of Data Transfer

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Piyush Sharma, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


Wi-Fi was accidentally invented by an Australian radio astronomer in 1992. Since then Wi-Fi has revolutionized digital communication. Without it our current mobile way of life would be somewhat different. Wi-Fi currently makes up around 60% of global internet traffic. Wi-Fi has some issues also, it can be unreliable sometimes because of varying signals and since it uses radio waves to transmit data at low frequency, it can be hacked easily. The solution for all these problems is Li-Fi. It uses Light (Radio Waves) as a medium to transfer data at very high frequency. Its intensity can be modulated. Light also has a higher bandwidth means they can more capacity to transmit data. It can transmit data up to 1GBPS which is 10 times faster than Wi-Fi highest speed.

It uses light (LED or other electronic bulbs) to flicker to transmit thousands of series of data bits simultaneously and a receiver at the bottom will pick only the fluctuations to determine the possible action. In this way each light source can be used as a data junction to transfer the data at a very high speed. We don’t require any extra infrastructure for this, we already have the infrastructure in the form of lighting in our houses.

We could see very cheap light powered internet or Li-Fi everywhere in near future. This could easily lead to the Internet of Things becoming reality, a situation where all the electronic devices can communicate with each other from the mobile phone to fridge to cars etc. If Li-Fi becomes a reality, then transfer of information will no longer be an obstacle for an average user.


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