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Thursday, November 26, 2015

TECH | Bye Bye Wi-Fi, Hello Li-Fi! Downloading an HD film in a matter of seconds now achievable!

The development of the world wide web, together with the consequent fast-paced movement of invention and innovation from the smartphone and tablet predecessors to all-in-one, sleek, stylish, and minimalist gadgets, has in some ways opened doors to everyone from all walks of life granting them the opportunity to change and improve the way they think and learn and to understand just about anything in just a few types and clicks. 

Wi-Fi has continued to break the barrier that hindered anyone from getting access to trillions of information technically contributing to a raised awareness and enhanced knowledge of all things comprehensible. But while a lot thought Wi-Fi is one of the best things that have happened to humanity in the 21st century, a new method of data transmission that when commercially launched will enable anyone to download a high-definition (HD) film in seconds has been in the works!

Li-Fi is a superbly fast alternative to Wi-Fi. It's 100 times faster than current Wi-Fi technologies. The image below shows how Li-Fi (from visible light communication) works.

Image Courtesy: Boston University

A real-world pilot testing of Li-FI technology carried out by Estonian start-up Velmenni in offices and industrial environments in Tallinn, Estonia's capital, has revealed that Li-Fi is able to send data up to 1 GBps or 224 gigabits per second! I think the fastest download speed that money can buy in PH right now is 200 Mbps or 200 megabits per seconds. 

Meanwhile, Li-Fi tech can realistically reach speeds of up to 224,000 megabits per second which is more than 1,000 times that of what Sky Broadband provides for a price of around 35k Php per month!

As of this moment, Li-Fi is not yet being mass produced because techniques are still being developed on how to retrofit it to the devices that we have.

But imagine if we have LED bulbs that act as some form of router counterparts for Li-Fi? Or say, your smartphone's Flash or back light or wall lamps emitting Li-Fi? How about accessing your favorite websites and streaming online movies while inside the plane?

Li-Fi technology was developed in 2011 by Professor Harald Haas of the University of Edinburgh, who demonstrated that with a flickering light from a single LED, he can transmit more data than what a cellular tower can do. Check out his TED talk video below.

Video Courtesy: Youtube channel TED

Although this breakthrough technology will provide wider opportunities for everything that involves "data", it won't be as promising a catalyst here in the Philippines which needs massive infrastructure upgrades to cater to the still-growing BPO industry and other sectors that rely heavily on digital transmission.

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