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This Little Chip Can Make the Light bulbs in Your House Broadcast Their Own Wi-Fi Network

This Little Chip Can Make the Light bulbs in Your House Broadcast Their Own Wi-Fi Network
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Photo: Carlos Zahumenszky / Gizmodo

We’ve been hearing about LiFi technology for a while now, but it’s taken a while to roll out. Now companies like pureLiFi already have everything they need ready to bring this electricity connection to homes. It will be very useful for the home Wi-Fi to finally cover that corner where there is never coverage.

LiFi technology is not very difficult to explain. It consists of transmitting datausing parts of the light spectrum that are there but that we neither see nor serve us for anything concrete. Light bulbs, for example, emit some of their light in the infrared spectrum. LiFi technology takes advantage of that light that we cannot see to transfer data and provide us with another connection system. By its very nature, LiFi is not intended to replace the usual WiFi. It cannot, for example, pass through walls, which does not make it suitable for connecting an entire house unless we change all the light bulbs. On the contrary, it is a technology with the same vocation as PLCs, that is, to support general connections using a technology, artificial lighting, which is already ubiquitous in any civilized place.

This same quality of not passing through walls also makes it extremely secure because the device receiving the signal has to be in the range of light in order to receive data. The question, of course, is which devices are capable of receiving LiFi connection? We had the answer in our hands during the last Mobile World Congress: anyone equipped with a small component like the one in these photos.

LiFi connection modules can be installed as part of any other device, from tablets to mobiles to televisions. For the test that we attended at the pureLiFi stand, what they had done was simply add a case with that chip to a conventional mobile, and connect another receiver to a television.

For both to work, the stand lights must emit a LiFi signal. To do this, a bulb equipped with another small circuit that acts as an emitter is enough. The connection does not require any specific software because something like a mobile interprets LiFi networks exactly the same as it would with the usual WiFi. You just have to choose which one to connect to. In the case of having several at the same time, the mobile itself would choose the one with the best signal at all times.

On a commercial level, pureLiFi will not sell finished LiFi devices to the general public . Its objective is to sell the components to other manufacturers so that they integrate them into their devices. Both receiver and emitter can carry other components as long as they let light through (displays, glass backs…), so LiFi doesn’t compromise things like water resistance. The system is now ready to use, so it is only a matter of time before we see light bulbs capable of emitting the Internet and devices capable of capturing that connection

This article is translated from Gizmodo en Español. Read the original article.

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