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The history of LiFi technology

People were still coping up with the magnanimity of Wi-Fi, how does it work, what caters the data
transmission etc. etc. and BOOM, here came THE Li-Fi Technology. Wondering how fast-paced is
the innovation taking place? Well, it’s all about making ideas happen. If not then, who would have
thought that the data transmission could take place with the help of visible light! Yes, that is the
crux of the Li-Fi working.

Its’ all about connecting the right dots!


The discovery of electric arc led to the discovery of light bulbs which thereafter led to the
discovery of Li-Fi technology.
Complicated, right?
Let’s take it from the scratch.

In 1802, a Swiss scientist invented the electric arc. As they say, human imagination knows no
boundaries, it has the power to leap over all the fences. Exact 77 years after this discovery, a nerdy
scientist from the US discovered the light bulbs to the world. And here laid the foundation of the
invention of this unique and emphatic concept of Li-Fi that used the bulb as a wireless router.
Connected all the dots, rightly!

Details, please?

Yes, the Li-Fi did gain the momentum from the year 2010, but the idea was laid back in the 1880s.
The whole convention of communicating through visible light communications dated back then.
And who started this off? Alexander Graham Bell, he invented a device named “photophone” that
transmitted speech via glares of sunlight over several hundred meters. He was so invested in this
process that he ended up naming his second daughter as “Photophone”. Astonishing! Indeed.

It did perform well but couldn’t last for long due to interference from light-blocking sources and
the rise of the telephone as the primary mode of audio communication.

There were definite advances made in the way of light between 1880 and 2010, but it was the
utmost labour and undying efforts of Professor Harald Haas and his team at the University of
Edinburgh who began to encourage and commercialize Li-Fi tech for daily use. It was him who
officially coined the term Li-Fi in his 2011 TED talk titled, “Wireless Data from Every Bulb.”

He spoke about this concept in lengths at the TEDglobal talk 2011. He was sure about the fact that
a light bulb can act as a wireless router for data transmission. This is what he explained after 2
years in 2013 at the same platform. His reveal showed the change of amplitude of a light bulb at
high speeds that could be utilized for energy transmission, in reality! He showcased the use of LED
for the transmission of a high definition video and then showed the same video to the audience.
Later on, to go on full-scale in Li-Fi promotion, he went on to form a company with the name
pureLiFi that has boosted the usage of wireless technology on more than 20 countries now. His
company, PureLi-Fi is all set to commercialize Li-Fi products for integration with existing LED-
lighting systems.

And as they say, Great men think alike, few more companies and groups came together in October
2011, to form a Li-Fi consortium that would give an edge to the high-speed optical wireless
systems and to solve the restricted amount of radio-based wireless spectrum accessible by going
ahead with a totally different fragment of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Bell was sure that the VLC(visible light communication) technology is going to be a great invention
for future tasks. His prophecy did turn out quite accurate. Li-Fi based on VLC technology has taken
all for a ride with its massive applications in the market. In 2012, the VLC technology was displayed
using Li-Fi. By August 2013, data rates of over 1.6 Gbit/s were demonstrated over a single colour
LED.

A press release reported that substantial work was being done on the Li-Fi development kits in
October 2013 by various Chinese manufacturers. It didn’t stop there, in April 2014, a Russian
company Stins Coman announced the development of a Li-Fi wireless local network called
BeamCaster. Currently, they are transferring data at 1.25 gigabytes per second but are looking
forward to increasing it to 5 GB/second in the near future.

It hasn’t stopped yet and we are witnessing various advances being made to accommodate Li-Fi
technology commercially. That time isn’t far away when Li-Fi will be considered to be an
indispensable requisite for the requirements of the future’s IT environment.

Obviously, if you could get a 100 times faster speed than the traditional systems that is more
reliable, more secure and most importantly virtually interference-free, then Li-Fi will surely be your
first choice.

Li-Fi with its massive characteristics has an immense scope in the healthcare, banking,
transportation and vehicle-to-vehicle communication. With the growing population (1.252 billion)
and the number of internet users (402 million) in India, we are definitely don't have space any
more.

The LiFi market is expected to exhibit growth at a robust pace by 2023. Massive bandwidth owing
to the growing RF spectrum crunch, together with a high degree of security and energy efficiency
are expected to bolster the global Li-Fi market. By 2019, it is estimated that the world will be
exchanging roughly 35 quintillion bytes of information each month. And we all know that radio
frequencies are already in use and heavily regulated, that data is definitely going to struggle to find
a spot in line. In this situation, Li-Fi will be our real saviour and its scope will be limitless.

The massive data transfer bandwidth enabled by Li-Fi, together with the benefits such as a high
degree of security and energy efficiency are expected to be the primary growth drivers of the
market. The growing RF (radio frequency) spectrum fix and the rising traffic of a variety of
consumer data on the internet are also encouraging massive developments in the field of Li-Fi.

For now, we should rest knowing that the LED-bulbs can now be of great help to help you surf the
internet better!
Innovation at its Best.