Is Light Fidelity a) something to do with your stereo equipment? b) a financial product? c) a term you might encounter if you are in an open relationship? In fact, the answer is really d) none of the above. Light Fidelity, or Li-Fi, is a revolutionary new technology that promises the fastest internet yet. Using the power of Visible Light Technology (VLC) through LED lighting to transmit high-speed data, in lab tests it has resulted in speeds close to 1 Gigabyte per second, about 100 times faster than existing wi-fi.
The technology’s pioneer, Harald Hass of the University of Edinburgh, says that Li-Fi will help bring the Internet to billions of people living in places where the existing infrastructure doesn’t allow it, closing what he calls “the digital divide.” Using off-the-shelf LEDs as data transmitters, and solar cells as receivers, “data is transported by the light encoded by subtle changes of the brightness.” Several companies are experimenting with Li-Fi. Deepak Solanki, CEO of Velmenni, says it should be available for consumers within a few years, meaning that we’ll all be able to illegally download movies and stream funny cat videos that much quicker.