Chinese scientists have created a Li-Fi device which uses light from an LED to provide 150Mbps connectivity, and hope to demonstrate the technology next month.
Scientists in Shanghai are preparing to show off their advancements in “Li-Fi”, Wi-Fi technology that provides connectivity through light. The technology focuses around the concept that that light should be able to transmit information just as well as traditional radio waves. Chi Nan, who is an information technology professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, is working with a team of scientists from the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics on a new Li-Fi kit which he hopes to demonstrate at the China International Industry Fair next month. The kits are able to provide a 150Mbps connection to four computers using only a 1watt led, faster than the average connection speed in China.
LEDs are quickly taking over from traditional light bulbs as the dominant lighting solution for homes and businesses. LEDs flicker at a very fast rate, too fast to pick up with your eyes though it can be seen via camera, if the video screen’s refresh rate is mismatched to the light’s. By altering the speed at which the lights flicker, they can be used to transmit data.
Li-Fi could change how we use wireless devices indoors
The term Li-Fi was coined by Prof. Harald Haas from the University of Edinburgh, and back in 2011, he performed the first public demonstration of the technology at a TED conference. A lamp fitted with a Li-Fi LED was used in the the demonstration to stream HD video. A spokesperson for Haas’ company has stated that they will not comment on the Chinese advances until they’ve seen more proof of its capabilities.