Internet users could turn to Li-Fi in the foreseeable future because of its capability to deliver broadband speeds 100 times faster than the widely used Wi-Fi connection, but it won't be replacing every Wi-Fi router anytime soon.
Li-Fi uses visible light connection (VLC), where Velmenni tested the technology in Tallinn. The Estonian startup reportedly reached a whopping 224 Gbps in the lab and 1 Gbps outside.
"Currently, we have designed a smart-lighting solution for an industrial environment where the data communication is done through light. We are also doing a pilot project with a private client where we are setting up a Li-Fi network to access the Internet in their office space," Deepak Solanki, CEO of Velmenni, tells International Business Times UK, noting that a consumer-ready model will roll out in about three to four years.
With the promise of blazing-fast Internet speed that Li-Fi is offering, it seems like a done deal, but don't be too hasty in discounting Wi-Fi from the fray.
First off, the very fact that most buildings have already been designed to accommodate Wi-Fi networks means that it won't be that easy for Li-Fi to take over everywhere.
Second, since the technology uses light instead of radio waves, it won't be able to pass through walls, which means that its range is in some ways more limited. However, this also means that the network is more secure, putting an end to neighbors stealing bandwidth.
Lastly, Li-Fi won't work well outdoors, as sunlight could disrupt its signal.
With these aspects said, Li-Fi won't completely take over and remove Wi-Fi from the scene. Instead, the pair will probably be used together, where Li-Fi will be used for tasks that require a high-speed connection and Wi-Fi will be used for general purposes.
Aside from being 100 times faster, Li-Fi has a couple of advantages over Wi-Fi, including being safe to use in hospitals or on airplanes, but those do not instantly disqualify the latter's merits.
Watch the video below to see Harald Haas, the inventor of Li-Fi, at a TED conference back in 2011.