Li-Fi – The best wireless for IoT?

Posted by Matt Newton on Dec 8, 2015 2:36:42 PM

Wi-Fi is an amazing piece of technology. I remember when it was first coming to fruition and laptops needed an accessory card the size of my Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone to communicate on a wireless network. That’s right. I rock an Android phone. Because it’s awesome.

Then there was the battle amongst PC and laptop manufacturers about which type of wireless interface card you needed, and how to future-proof your latest technology investment. This was essentially impossible at the time because the technology was advancing faster than PC manufacturers and consumer budgets could keep up. Wireless throughput of only a few megabits turned into 10, and then more. Dual-band wireless routers jumped from 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz bands.

And now it appears there’s a new wireless technology on the horizon that’s going to once again change everything. Just as light revolutionized physical network media with the development and rollout of fiber optic networks, so too is light slated to revolutionize wireless communication. Imagine a wireless network 100 times faster than speeds attainable by current wireless networks. Now imagine those speeds are attainable through a simple LED bulb in your table lamp. Hello, Li-Fi.

Li-Fi is a fairly new technology that’s promising some big changes in the way network devices communicate today. First and foremost it’s designed to use visible light communication or infrared and near-ultraviolet spectrum to transmit data. That means that someday every LED bulb inside your home could act as a wireless access point. No more Wi-Fi dead spots in the house; where there’s light, there’s data communication.

As more and more devices come on line with IoT connectivity, end devices and sensors will need a secure, reliable communication medium. And wouldn’t it be nice for a change if all of them used the same low power, wireless communication protocol?

Here’s a link to a Ted Talk video where the inventor of Li-Fi, Harald Haas, demonstrates the technology and discusses it in further depth.

Topics: Internet of Things, Remote monitoring, IoT, Networking

Written by Matt Newton

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