Travelling at the speed of light may still be a distant reality, but the possibility of accessing the internet via light looks very well viable in the near future. An article published in the Asian Scientist magazine showcases one of the latest Chinese technologies will be using (LiFi) which uses light for sending communication signals. The original founder of this very interesting technology was a British professor named Harold Haas.
Netizens in China may soon be able to get online using signals sent via light (LiFi), a type of visible light communication technology that delivers a high-speed communication solution in a similar manner as WiFi.
According to the state-run Xinhua news agency, Chinese scientists have successfully connected four computers to the Internet with a one-watt LED light bulb that uses light as a carrier, instead of traditional radio frequencies that WiFi depends on.
A light bulb with embedded microchips can produce data rates as fast as 150 megabits per second
A light bulb 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 Prof. Chi Nan from Shanghai’s Fudan University, who leads a LiFi research team.
According to Chi, current wireless signal transmission equipment is expensive and low in efficiency. “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. “The energy utilization rate is only five percent.” Compared with base stations, the number of light bulbs that can be used is practically limitless, making LiFi both cost-effective as well as efficient.
LiFi is both cost-effective as well as efficient.
However, there is still a long way to go before LiFi can be commercially viable. “If the light is blocked, then the signal will be cut off,” she said. More importantly, the development of a series of key related pieces of technology, including light communication controls as well as microchip design and manufacturing, is still in the experimental stage.
This new technology promises a bright future for the internet enthusiasts. How cool would it be to just switch on the light and you are online. It would surely open the gateway for more high-speed connections which would not only be efficient but also cost effective.