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Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • A new light-based communications standard meant for Li-Fi technology has rolled out.
  • The emerging wireless technology relies on infrared light instead of radio waves.
  • It’s said that Li-Fi could offer speeds 100 times faster than current Wi-Fi.

The next generation of Wi-Fi — Wi-Fi 7 — is coming soon, with Wi-Fi 7 routers expected to launch later this year. But the future of wireless communication may not be Wi-Fi 7, but rather a light-based wireless technology known as Li-Fi.

Short for light fidelity, Li-Fi is a wireless optical networking technology that uses infrared light instead of radio signals (Wi-Fi) to transmit data. According to Windows Central, a new IEEE 802.11bb light communications standard has been rolled out for Li-Fi technology. This is significant as it provides a globally-recognized framework for manufacturers to produce Li-Fi products that are compatible with one another.

Fraunhofer HHI, a developer of mobile and optical communication networks, explains the potential benefits of Li-Fi in a video. One of those benefits includes the potential to install Li-Fi transmitters in light fixtures. Another benefit appears to be that Li-Fi doesn’t leak through walls like Wi-Fi does, which could improve security.

At the moment, there aren’t a whole lot of products that support the new Li-Fi standard. The first device to support it — the Light Antenna ONE — was only revealed just this year. Although there aren’t any commercial gadgets out yet, the promise of Li-Fi is promising.

Reportedly, Li-Fi boasts speeds of up to 224 GB per second, whereas Wi-Fi 7 is expected to have an average speed of 40Gbps. Transfer rates of this speed would be highly beneficial for things like gaming or VR/AR.

While the potential for Li-Fi is exciting, it’s important to stay grounded for now. Given the technology’s infancy, it’s unclear what negatives could come with the technology. Not to mention the uphill battle it will have in convincing people to switch from Wi-Fi. But the release of the new IEEE 802.11bb standard is a big step forward.

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