Researchers from the University of Oxford made a technological breakthrough that could potentially deliver 224Gbit/sec bi-directional connectivity – through signal-emitting light bulbs.
This breakthrough is currently more popularly known as LiFi or Light Fidelity. It utilizes light produced by specialized LEDs to transmit information to interconnected devices such as computers and other peripherals. LiFi technology has been in development since 2011 but this specific achievement of 3Gbit/sec speeds only came to realization last February 2013.
So what does this mean? Theoretically, with the exponential increase in speed coupled with room-scale capability working on 60 degree and 30 degree fields-of-view, you will be able to download 18 1.5GB movies in 1 second. However, this kind of activity still remains a theory, since the fastest commercially available drive – PC Pro – can only write 1GB per second. To achieve this downloading feat, you would need a data center that can handle 27GB per second.
Nevertheless, the use of LiFi however is not without its limitations. Point in fact; one very important limitation is that while room scale LiFi coverage has been achieved, devices have to be in direct view of the signal-emitting LEDs. What this means is, to be able to achieve connection speeds of 224Gbits/sec, specialized LED bulbs in every room is needed because LiFi signal cannot travel through walls or any other solid objects.
Whilst organizations like the LiFi Consortium think that this limitation can also be considered “an advantage in relation to security issues,” it also means that only stationary peripherals like desktop computers and laptops that do not get relocated are able to utilize this huge technological breakthrough. Conversely, placing specialized LEDs in every room can minimize this specific problem.