Li-Fi, a next-generation technology invented by Professor Harald Hass of the University of Edinburgh in 2011, is capable of transmitting data via light (i.e. Visible Light Communication or VLC). The thing that makes Li-Fi so compelling is its fastest data transferring speed.
“LiFi is a wireless optical networking technology that uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for data transmission. LiFi is designed to use LED light bulbs similar to those currently in use in many energy-conscious homes and offices.”
Li-Fi tests have shown it can transmit information more than 100 times faster than a standard Wi-Fi network, with theoretical speeds of around 224 gigabits per second.
This means that you could download multiple high-definition (HD) movies to your iPhone over a LiFi connection in a matter of seconds.
However, it is unclear how Apple intends to make use of LiFi, as, at the present, no technology on the market uses LiFi. So, it could be used for talking to devices, say the Apple TV, within the same room. This is just speculation.
Code found within the iOS 9.1 mobile operating system suggests Apple may be looking to include ultra-fast LiFi technology in next generation iPhones.
Apple is thought to be experimenting with an ultra-fast alternative to Wi-Fi for use in future iPhones, after references to the technology were discovered within the code of the iOS mobile operating system.
Li-Fi, often referred to as the next big leap in wireless data transfer, offers speeds up to 100 times faster than Wi-Fi. First invented by Professor Harald Haas at the University of Edinburgh in 2011, the technology sends data using visible light communication (VLC).
Researchers have achieved speeds of 224 gigabits per second using Li-Fi under laboratory conditions, which would theoretically allow for 18 HD movies to be downloaded in a single second. Other advantages it holds over Wi-Fi are less interference between devices and improved security over local networks, as light cannot pass through walls. The latter benefit also acts as a restriction and means that while Li-Fi is unlikely to ever completely replace Wi-Fi, it could be used in parallel to create more efficient networks.
Apple to make future iPhones compatible with a cutting-edge technology that has the capability to transmit data at 100 times the speed of WiFi, suggests the code found within the iOS firmware.
Apple may ship future iPhones with Li-Fi capabilities, a new technology that may end up replacing the widely-used Wi-Fi in the future technology.
Beginning with iOS 9.1 update, the operating system’s source code makes mention of “LiFiCapability” alongside declarations to other hardware and software capabilities, hinting that Apple may be experimenting with ways to integrate Li-Fi technology with future iPhones models.
Li-Fi compatibility with Future iPhones
Li-Fi compatibility was spotted in the code for iOS 9.1 by a Twitter user, who goes by name Chase Fromm, and was independently confirmed by Apple Insider. However, there is no such indication that Apple is actually working with Li-Fi.
But, as pointed out by Apple Insider, Apple filed a patent application for a device in 2013 that described a method of “optical modulation using an image sensor,” hinting that the company may have been working on new ways to utilize light to transmit data.