Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands have developed a new infrared-based wifi system that offers lightning speed of 42.8Gbit per second which is 100 times faster.
The capacity is not only huge but also there is no need to share since every device gets its own ray of light. This was the subject for which TU/e researcher Joanne Oh received her PhD degree with the ‘cum laude’ distinction. Oh managed a speed of 42.8Gbit/s over a distance of 2.5 metres. For comparison, the average connection speed in the Netherlands is two thousand times less (17.6Mbit/s).
This new system, also known as ‘Li-Fi’, relies on central light antennas to beam rays of different wavelengths to wireless devices. This makes your network more secure and it won’t be jammed by other networking devices.
The wireless data comes from a few central ‘light antennas’, which can be mounted on the ceiling, that are able to precisely direct the rays of light supplied by an optical fibre. Since it relies only on light rays supplied by an optical fiber with no movable parts, it can be called as maintenance free system with no power requirements.
The antennas contain a pair of gratings that radiate light rays of different wavelengths at different angles.
Changing the light wavelengths also changes the direction of the ray of light. A safe infrared wavelength is used that does not reach the retina in the eye.
This new infrared system can target multiple devices at once, is cheap to set up and doesn’t have any issue with radio interference, unlike traditional WiFi. The research team has only tested download speeds and only across short distances, but the potential is clear.
If you walk around as a user and your smartphone or tablet moves out of the light antenna’s line of sight, then another light antenna takes over. Moreover, there is no longer any interference from a neighboring Wi-Fi network, the researchers noted.