Imagine a few years from now, you’ve equipped your home with a renewable electricity installation, owner of a small storage facility and would like to sell power to your neighbor’s electric vehicle in need for a charge. All you’ll need would be smart meters, smart grids, and a network platform – many feel 5G Wi-Fi is the answer.
Unfortunately 5G lives in a ‘light’ spectrum limited to 300 gigahertz, and with 80 billion devices expected to be online by 2020, the technology will eventually run into bottlenecks.
Enter LiFi, or light fidelity, a new technology that relies on solar energy to power Internet connections so that an LED light source paired with a solar panel becomes a fully functional transmitter and receiver system for high speed, secure data transfer. Instead of relying on hardwired cables or radio waves that are easily interrupted, Li-Fi uses the nearly undetectable flicker of an LED light to transmit data.
LiFi exists on the 300 terahertz visible light spectrum, which including infrared, is 2,600 times larger than the entire radio spectrum.
The commercial prospects are immense; street lamps could be used as public LiFi stations; self-driving cars’ headlights can be LiFi-enabled for its artificial intelligence technology to work; healthcare wearables can use LiFi to track heartbeat and other vitals.
Globally, LiFi is expected to be a $115 billion market by 2022.