Chinese scientists in Shanghai have developed a light bulb that emits a wireless internet signal. The new technology is being called Li-Fi and could have an interesting impact in the future. Currently, one bulb can provide internet for up to four computers. What is perhaps most interesting about the Li-Fi bulbs is that they transmit internet through light rather than the typical radio waves found in most Wi-Fi technology.
In China, most people who have internet connection receive it through broadband connections. The Li-Fi bulbs utilize a microchip and produce data rates of up to 150 megabits per second (much faster than the average broadband connection). The bulbs were displayed to a strong public reception at the China International Industry Fair on November 5th.
The newly developed light bulbs are interesting because they are inexpensive to produce and could be used all over. As the country with the largest population in the world, China could dominate the internet with a billion ‘netizens,’ thanks to these light bulbs. We focus a lot in class about infrastructure and the “modernization,” of China. These cost efficient bulbs could help accelerate internet access across China.
2 Responses to Wi-Fi Light Bulb
I saw this article when looking for blog post topics and found it fascinating. I think their cost effectiveness could have a huge impact worldwide, but especially in China. It’s also staggering what breakthroughs inventors are having these days. I read about how Amazon wants to introduce drones to deliver packages at any time of day, any day of the week, which would be revolutionary. Just when we can’t imagine technology getting any more advanced, things like these lightbulbs and the Amazon drones come along.
Li Fi will also have the added benefit of consuming very low energy. Most of the energy consumed by Wi-fi is consumed by the mobile base station’s cooling systems, however unlike Wi-fi, if the light is blocked by something then the signal won’t work and range is much shorter than Wi-fi. Also the system will be non interfering for applications like airplane navigation systems, and have relatively no spectrum crisis.