We’ve known for over a decade that flashing bulbs can transfer substantial loads of wireless data, not just stupid infrared commands on your TV. Now the IEEE standards body behind Wi-Fi has decided to officially invite “Li-Fi” to the same table – with speeds between 10 megabits per second and 9.6 gigabits per second using light. invisible infrared.
Since June 2023, the IEEE 802.11 wireless standard officially recognizes wireless light communications as the physical layer for wireless LANs, which is a fancy way of saying that Li-Fi doesn’t need to compete with Wi-Fi. Light can be just another guy access point and interface providing the same networks and/or the same Internet to your device.
In fact, at least one member of the IEEE has experimented with networks that use both Wi-Fi and Li-Fi simultaneously to overcome each other’s drawbacks, cleverly directing some desktop computers to Li-Fi rather than the Wi-Fi to improve the whole network.
You see, Li-Fi products are not really new: companies have been trying to sell them for several years. There is even already a competing standard, the G.9991 of the International Telecommunication Union, which appears among other things in the data transmission bulbs of the manufacturer Philips Hue Signify.
These companies have banked on the fact that the light can provide a fast, private and direct connection without radio interference – amid concerns that lighting conditions can vary widely and it’s all too easy to accidentally cut a line of – view connection. My colleague Jake illustrated the pros and cons when he tried a Li-Fi lamp in 2018.
In its experience report, CableLabs does not deny that Light Communication (LC) has room for improvement. “The LC range is highly sensitive to irradiance and angles of incidence, which makes dynamic beam steering (and availability of LoS) attractive for future LC evolution,” reads the study.
“Enterprise Wi-Fi and peak LC performance are on par, but LC reliability needs improvement. One possible approach is to use multiple distributed optical interfaces,” reads another.
“Reliability needs to be improved”
The reason we hear about this now it’s not because the IEEE made a fuss about it, by the way, it’s because the company that hired the man who invented “Li-Fi”, Dr Harald Haas , really wants to take advantage of this opportunity to sell his newest product, and the Fraunhofer task force member wants to be recognized for his contribution.
PureLiFi has just been launched the One light antenna in February, a module small enough to be theoretically integrated into smartphones, which it says can already deliver more than 1 Gbps depending on the use case. (It’s only designed to communicate with devices within 10 feet, and it has a 24-degree field of view when transmitting back.) for the first time.”