Whereas Wi-Fi usesradio frequencyto transmit data, Li-Fi uses light, which means Li-Fi can use higherbandwidthand work in areas of electromagnetic interference (aircraft cabins, hospitals, nuclear power plants) while offering higher transmission speeds.
This particular optical wireless communication (OWC) technology uses light from light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Visible light communications (VLC) work by switching the current to the LEDs off and on at a very high rate, too quick to be noticed by the human eye. Although Li-Fi LEDs have to be kept on to transmit data, they can be dimmed to below human visibility while still emitting enough light to carry data.
Light waves, however, cannot penetrate walls, which means they have a much shorter range than Wi-Fi, though they are more secure from hacking. Direct line of sight is not necessary for Li-Fi to transmit a signal; light reflected off the walls can achieve 70 Mbit/s.
Both Wi-Fi and Li-Fi transmit data over the electromagnetic spectrum, but whereas Wi-Fi utilizes radio waves, Li-Fi uses visible light, UV and IR. The Li-Fi market is projected to be worth over $6 billion per year by 2018. The visible light spectrum being 10,000 times larger than the entire radio frequency spectrum, Li-Fi has almost no limitations on capacity. Researchers have reached data rates of over 224 Gbit/s, which was much faster than typical fast broadband in 2013. Li-Fi is expected to be ten times cheaper than Wi-Fi. Short range, low reliability and high installation costs are the potential downsides.
Bg-Fi is a Li-Fi system consisting of a mobile device app and an IoT (Internet of Things) device with color sensor, microcontroller, and embedded software. Light from the mobile device display communicates to the color sensor on the IoT consumer product, which then converts the light into digital information. LEDs enable the consumer product to communicate synchronously with the mobile device.