The term LiFi, which is short for Light Fidelity, was coined by one of the pioneers in the technology, Professor Harald Haas during a TEDx TALK in the year 2011. It was named after its predecessor, and the currently prevailing technology, WiFi, which stands for Wireless Fidelity.

LiFi is one of the newest communication technologies that aim to improve upon current technology by making use of visible light communication as opposed to the radio waves used by WiFi. Its introduction actually serves a dual purpose as it aims to provide overhead illumination to households as well as facilitate the transfer of data.

The introduction of LiFi presents a new paradigm for optical wireless technology as it aims to provide connectivity within a localized environment while forgoing the use of fiber optic cables as a transfer medium for light. Instead, it makes use of overhead LED lighting commonly found in households as a medium of transport. Currently, the technology is able to achieve a maximum data transfer rate of 224 gigabits per second – the equivalent of downloading 18 HD movies every second.

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Zworykin, Vladimir K.

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