Abstract: Whether you’re using wireless internet in a coffee shop, stealing it from the guy next door, or competing for bandwidth at a conference, you’ve probably gotten frustrated at the slow speeds you face when more than one device is tapped into the network. As more and more people and their many devices access wireless internet, clogged airwaves are going to make it increasingly difficult to latch onto a reliable signal. But radio waves are just one part of the spectrum that can carry our data. What if we could use other waves to surf the internet? One German physicist, DR. Harald Haas, has come up with a solution he calls “Data Through Illumination”—taking the fiber out of fiber optics by sending data through an LED light bulb that varies in intensity faster than the human eye can follow. It’s the same idea behind infrared remote controls, but far more powerful. Haas says his invention, which he calls D-Light, can produce data rates faster than 10 megabits per second, which is speedier than your average broadband connection. He envisions a future where data for laptops, smart phones, and tablets is transmitted through the light in a room. And security would be a snap—if you can’t see the light, you can’t access the data. Li-Fi is a VLC, visible light communication, technology developed by a team of scientists including Dr Gordon Povey, Prof. Harald Haas and Dr Mostafa Afgani at the University of Edinburgh. The term Li-Fi was coined by Prof. Haas when he amazed people by streaming high-definition video from a standard LED lamp, at TED Global in July 2011. Li-Fi is now part of the Visible Light Communications (VLC) PAN IEEE 802.15.7 standard. “Li-Fi is typically implemented using white LED light bulbs. These devices are normally used for illumination by applying a constant current through the LED. However, by fast and subtle variations of the current, the optical output can be made to vary at extremely high speeds. Unseen by the human eye, this variation is used to carry high-speed data,” says Dr Povey, Product Manager of the University of Edinburgh's Li-Fi Program ‘D-Light Project’.
Keywords: Wireless-Fidelity (Wi-Fi), Light Fidelity (Li-Fi), Light Emitting Diode (LED), LDR (Light Dependent Register).