Visible Light Communication – Li-Fi and Its Applications
February 18, 2018 / by Admin
Today’s age of information is nothing short of a technological wonder. The sudden surge in internet consumption and digitalization across industries is paving the way towards innovative technology. The lighting industry is witnessing groundbreaking changes and is now setting feet on the Internet of Things (IoT) and Li-Fi. Ever since the introduction of LED lights in the market, the room for innovation is only increasing. The consumption needs are changing which is leading the LED light manufacturers to find more avenues of research and development.
LED lights are semiconductor devices that emit visible light when electric current passes through them. This semiconductor technology of LED lights enables a host of applications including Li-Fi. Visible Light Communication (VLC) is a subset of Optical Wireless Communications technologies that uses visible light to transfer data and Li-Fi is based on it.
What is Li-Fi and How Does It Work?
Li-Fi or ‘Light Fidelity’ is a wireless optical networking technology that makes use of LED lights to communicate and transmit data between devices wirelessly. LED lights form the basis of a wireless network whereas Li-Fi enables the transmission of data by modulating the intensity of these LED lights. A photosensor receives modulated light which is then demodulated into electronic form. Since LED lights can be turned on and off repeatedly at a fast rate, this allows them to stream data at high speeds. However, the current technology that powers Li-Fi is based on modulating the intensity of light to transfer data. Li-Fi has 1000 times larger spectrum available for wireless communication which can significantly reduce the load on the existing Wi-Fi network.
Applications of Li-Fi
The applications of Li-Fi are limitless and still a broader topic of research. Basically, Li-Fi will enable internet access anywhere where there is an LED light. However, in the present day, there are numerous applications already in works. Let’s take a look!
- Healthcare Industry
As one of the most sensitive working environments, the healthcare industry must adhere to the challenging regulations. For example, the use of Wi-Fi is prohibited inside hospitals as it can interfere with medical devices such as MRI and even treatment of patients. Li-Fi, on the other hand, offers a feasible opportunity where visible light communication can enable data transfer in such EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) sensitive environments. It can further aid in robotic treatment and laparoscopy.
- Power Plants and Other Sensitive Areas
Sensitive areas are like Power Plants need fast digital communication to monitor grid-integrity and demand. Nuclear Power Plants, instead, need to monitor core temperature and send it across quickly. Wi-Fi can negatively affect the sensitive areas because of its radiation; however, the implementation of Li-Fi in such areas can provide a safer and faster measure. Furthermore, Li-Fi can provide a viable data transfer solution for chemical plants where transmission or frequencies from Wi-Fi and other could be hazardous.
- Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication
The implementation of Visible Light Communication on the road can take place through vehicles and street lights. Li-Fi can deliver practical solutions and sense situations like pre-crash sensing, collision, lane changing, traffic signal violation, and such. Data transmission through Li-Fi has extremely low latency which makes it ideal for communicating with a vehicle to vehicle. Furthermore, it can also help in managing traffic and decreasing the number of accidents.
- Educational Institutes
Universities and schools need to have uninterrupted internet access for a plethora of reasons. By installing LED lights, universities and schools can not only save energy cost but also provide high-speed internet access. Li-Fi can completely replace Wi-Fi in educational institutes.
- Internet Access in Aircrafts
At present, internet access in aircrafts is limited as the cellular networks can interfere with the navigational system. Li-Fi can serve as a practical option for data transmission inside an airplane. If the lighting system inside an aircraft is refurbished with LED lights, passengers will finally be able to access the internet.
- Smart Cities
The role of IoT (Internet of Things) in enabling the concept of smart cities is enormous. Li-Fi and IoT, when combined, can truly facelift smart cities further. Not only will Li-Fi make communication on a large scale possible, but it will also automate various processes of a smart city. LED lights have already established their mark in developing countries and are now illuminating most public spaces. With the introduction of Li-Fi in this framework, the possibilities of actual smart cities are endless.
Even though Li-Fi is in its emerging state, the technology and applications are being researched rapidly. Li-Fi as technology can wholly replace Wi-Fi and how data transfer works. The vital thing to notice here is that it will only be light (LED) that will embrace Li-Fi but mobile devices, laptops and other computing devices that will enable the real potential of Li-Fi network. This technology will also eliminate the use of extra devices like dongles in their current avatar. Furthermore, Li-Fi is not only incredibly faster but also offers safe and secure communication. Being one of the most innovative LED light manufacturers, we at Wipro Lighting have always strived for innovation. Li-Fi is one such technological advancement that has endless possibilities and can positively change the way we communicate. LED lights are the lighting choice of the future, and it is time to adopt this superior technology.