The future of wireless communication — LiFi, stands for light fidelity. It’s a technology that enables faster data transfer with the help of visible light. Since LiFi is still an emerging science, many people are curious to know if it is really capable of solving the problem of the spectrum crunch. It, thus, becomes important for us to debunk certain myths and to clear out the misconceptions around LiFi in an effective manner.
Here are a few queries that pop up every now and then when we talk about LiFi:
Myth 1: LiFi is just another name for Visible Light Communication (VLC).
Fact: The method of transmitting data using LEDs makes the main objective of both the technologies — LiFi and VLC, common. However, VLC is a point to point light communication network with controlled features, operated at low or moderate data rates, unlike LiFi that supports high to ultra-high data rates. Moreover, LiFi is bidirectional and VLC is unidirectional.
Myth 2: Lights cannot be dimmed if you wish to use LiFi efficiently.
Fact: By dimming the lights, your room might get dark but the LiFi will still work and transmit your data. LiFi dongle is sensitive to low lights and even the minimum level of luminescence can get this technology working, so you won’t be able to notice that the light is switched on.
While working at home or in office, we usually switch on the lights so that our laptop screens or whatever work we are doing, don’t stress out our optical nerves. To use LiFi, you just need lights. LiFi’s smooth transmission service comes for free as the cost gets covered in the price of light only. In short, you just pay for illumination, but avail the benefit of communication too! Can it get more efficient than this?
Myth 3: The lights flicker a lot which can cause a headache.
Fact: The current supply to the LED devices is modulated at a speed that is not perceptible to the human eyes. The flickering won’t cause headaches as it won’t affect us. Even TV and computer screens flicker but the human eyes fail to detect it, and the same goes for LiFi. So, take it easy!
Myth 4: LiFi is unidirectional.
Fact: LiFi can be used in both the directions as it is a full duplex communication technology that uses infrared energy (which is invisible to human eyes) for the uplink and visible light for the downlink.
Myth 5: LiFi cannot work in sunlight.
Fact: Many people think that LiFi cannot work in the presence of sunlight which might affect the speed of LiFi. Surprisingly, it is easy to reduce the interference from natural or artificial sources using optical filters that help in minimizing receiver saturation, enabling LiFi to work even outdoors. Moreover, analog and digital filtering can further help in reducing the interference making it almost negligible.
And as I mentioned earlier that LiFi technology modulates the light at very high rates without even making us feel the difference, the sunlight — being a constant source of light, can be filtered out at the receiver.
Myth 6: LiFi requires ‘Line-Of-Sight’.
Fact: Undoubtedly, the signal would be stronger in the presence of line-of-sight but, if a LiFi receiver can collect photons, it can still receive data at a lower data rate if light levels are low. This means that line-of-sight is an advantage for sure, but not a necessity. Light can be reflected but cannot penetrate through physical objects like walls which provides a secure data network, limiting the coverage area. But the case is same with WiFi as its speed also decreases when radio waves come in contact with interference.
Myth 7: LiFi needs special LEDs to work properly.
Fact: The LED lights and ordinary lamps currently being sold can perfectly work to provide light communication based on factors defining illumination. The invention of upgraded versions is a win-win situation, but the lighting industry may reach to that level in recent coming years and to implement LiFi, the existing LED devices can be used easily.
Myth 8: LiFi is a complex technology and cannot work with WiFi.
Fact: This is one of the biggest misunderstandings people have about LiFi. LiFi, in fact, is a very simple technology that works on direct modulation and direct demodulation mechanism. It is a cheap and highly efficient way of communication as it comes with the source of illumination. On the contrary, radio technology is complex since it requires a whole setup along with an antenna system to transmit signals.
It’s believed that LiFi will very soon take over WiFi totally. However, both the technologies can coexist amicably. LiFi can help reduce the congestion and burden of WiFi by providing a higher speed while downloading data.
Still got doubts about LiFi? Share with us your queries at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try to solve them all!