In a digital age where nothing seems to be private or secure, no matter what steps you take, comes hope with a technology called LiFi. What is LiFi? Put simply, it’s a new way for digital information to be passed through spectrums of visible light. It’s very fast, at 10 gigabytes per second; currently more than 250 times faster than the fastest broadband connection!
We were first introduced to the idea of visible light communications using light-emitting diodes as a means to deliver digital information from the “father of LiFi”, Professor Harald Hass. Hass gave a Ted Talk in 2011 that blew the audience’s mind. Using a simple desk lamp with a specialized bulb, he was able to stream HD video with the flip of a switch. Even more impressive was when he simply blocked the light with his hand, it broke the communication between the light source and its receiver, stopping the video. As he pulled his hand away the video began to immediately play again.
The implications of this technology are astounding. Traditional WiFi uses radio waves that can pierce through solid objects such as walls, to allow access to anyone in range of the signal. This allows for the very real possibility that a third party can gain access to your network connection without you even being aware. In fact, this very thing happened when Google was caught harnessing data from all open WiFi networks on the road, as they were mapping out its street view program. This included usernames, passwords, browser histories, text messages, personal emails, and more! Data breaches like this could have major implications for businesses in the technology field and beyond.
With LiFi, technologists and companies alike will have the opportunity to confine and secure digital information to any area where a light spectrum is deployed, rather than allowing others to piggyback or hack into their data via radio waves, or a hard lined connection via an Ethernet cable. The only downside is that this technology is still a long way away from being commercially available to the public, but we shouldn’t be discouraged. The technology is constantly evolving at break neck speeds, and as time passes, LiFi is constantly improving. For example, scientists in China were able to transfer data at 150 mbps in mid-October of 2013. Only weeks later, several universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, working together through the “Ultra-Parallel Visible Communications Project,” were able to achieve speeds of 10 gbps.
Technology development moves at an exponential rate, so there is no real way to predict when LiFi technology will be made available to the average Joe or big business Bob. However, with the implementation of new BLE Bluetooth beacons already emerging, this technology may be available sooner rather than later. Now may be the perfect time to start planning on how you and your business might restructure your office around this amazing emerging technology.
At Think Tank NTG, our technicians understand that advances in technology almost always provide superior options to antiquated technologies. We provide small and mid-sized companies enterprise-level solutions to help them take their business where they want to go. For more information about new technologies or to speak to one of our trusted IT professionals, call us today at 800-501-DATA.
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