WiFi networking could take on a new twist if experiments into using LED light bulbs to transmit data come to fruition, with LiFi a distinct possibility.
Estonian company Velmenni has already developed a new generation of smart LED bulbs that can transmit data through visible light.
“We are implementing the LiFi technology in our new range of LED bulbs,” the company states on its web site.
“It refers to the wireless communication system which uses light as a medium of transport instead of traditional radio frequencies. Although the use of light in order to transmit data can be limited in comparison to radio waves, there is a great amount of possibilities that can be developed with the proper use of this technology.”
In developing the technology, Velmenni developed a basic prototype to demonstrate visible light communication. “We transferred serial data synchronously from a PC/laptop screen to a micro-controller board using visible light,” it explains. “A GUI was developed and a receiver circuit was made using Arduino and photodiodes. We successfully transferred a text file using this method. We only had to keep your micro-control board in front of the laptop screen (GUI) and the data was transferred wirelessly using visible light communication.”
The company believes it is now well on its way to implementing this technology in its smart LED bulb, which can transfer data to other bulbs, mobile phones, and the Internet. Also under development is an Android app that will be able to send and receive data to and from the LEDs.