Apple Will Add Li-Fi Capabilities to the iPhone

28/11/2016   /   Categories :  News

Li-Fi will most likely be the language of the Internet of Things, and Apple is the first tech giant taking a step forward to make the technology mainstream, just like they did with USB cables a pair of decades ago. Apple recently patented a technology that gives data transmission capabilities to the iPhone camera, and the latest versions of the iOS have Li-Fi functions as part of their code – the hardware is not capable yet, but the software side is already being developed!

If a company like Apple can deploy Li-Fi successfully, its adoption in mainstream markets could be accelerated significantly. The company does not plan to displace Wi-Fi completely, but rather wants the two technologies to complement each other, just like current smartphones switch between 4G and Wi-Fi depending on what is available.

How Will Apple Enhance its Services with Li-Fi?

Apple TV is one of the few Apple products designed to be installed at a fixed location, potentially serving as a hub for Li-Fi communication. It will also become possible to stream ultra-high definition media within seconds. In theory, Li-Fi can transmit data at over 200 gigabits per second, orders of magnitude faster than the best Wi-Fi systems available.

Apple also has a broad range of applications that will become much more powerful with Li-Fi, including HomeKit and Siri. The iPhone will serve as the control interface for all light-based applications and services, while the Apple TV or any other stationary device serves as the hub.

Li-Fi Will Eventually Become Necessary

Having super-fast light-based Internet might sound like a luxury, but Professor Harold Haas from Edinburgh University states that it will soon become necessary to keep up with the communication needs of humanity. Professor Haas is considered the “godfather of Li-Fi” and leads the firm pureLiFi, one of the main developers currently working on the technology.

Conventional Wi-Fi systems will soon be unable to meet all communication needs. By the year 2020 there will be 26 billion connected devices in the world, and the radio spectrum used by Wi-Fi is simply not broad enough to transmit all that data; the Li-Fi spectrum, on the other hand, is 10,000 times larger. Currently, most wireless communication is between humans, but machine-to-machine communication will become commonplace as the Internet of Things and Li-Fi are adopted.

Tech companies who fail to recognize these trends will likely go out of business, just like it happened when photography evolved from analog to digital. Wireless communication and lighting are currently two separate industries, but they are set on a collision course and will merge soon. Depending on what companies do, they can emerge as market leaders or go out of business. Apple is a clear example of a tech giant demonstrating interest in light-based technologies, and the opposite is happening in the lighting industry with companies like OSRAM, who are starting to develop IT solutions.

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