The New Technology That Transfers Data 1,000 Times Faster Than WiFi Is Coming To Offices
A new technology could fundamentally impact the way real estate companies think about digital connectivity.
LiFi is an emerging way of transferring data that will make even the fastest WiFi connection feel like a dial-up modem from 1997. And the technology it uses is relatively simple — a lightbulb.
LiFi uses LED lightbulbs to transfer data, in much the same way as a WiFi router but much, much quicker and more efficiently. Speeds can be around 1,000 times faster than WiFi.
Without getting too deep into the science, which was pioneered by professor Harald Haas at the University of Edinburgh, LiFi uses light instead of radio waves to transmit data, and for that reason is much faster. Light has a higher frequency than radio waves and also a higher bandwidth, which means as well as being able to carry data faster, it can carry more of it.
“That gives LiFi a much higher capacity,” WiredScore Technical Director Sanjaya Ranasinghe said. “If you think about how difficult it is trying to get on the WiFi in a public place, that is because so many people are using it. If you think about offices, there will be an even greater number of devices in the future, when people have wearable technology and there are more devices connected to the Internet of Things. LiFi will have the capacity to deal with that.”
Ranasinghe said the technology is “moving from prototype to maturity”. French developer Sogeprom, part of investment bank Société Générale, built a new headquarters in the La Défense business district of Paris incorporating the technology.
“The installation of high bandwidth LiFi in our offices fits our vision and perfectly fits with our client's demands of increased mobility, system security and connectivity,” Sogeprom Deputy Chief Executive Pierre Sorel said.
LiFi also has the potential to provide increased security. Because light does not travel through walls, it is possible to create LiFi networks for very specific areas, reducing the ability of anyone outside that network to hack in.
“If the chief executive or a particular team need their own network, that is possible,” Ranasinghe said.