Scientists Just Created Something We’ve Only Heard About in Superhero Movies. And It Changes Everything

Scientists have apparently developed a type of visible light communication (VLC) technology that can potentially transmit data using conventional lighting fixtures faster than WiFi.

An open access paper published first in 2018, and updated in early 2024, described how we could soon get rid of our WiFi modems and use VLCs because they could be a much, much faster means of transmitting information digitally. Unlike WiFi, which uses radio waves to transmit data, VLC uses sources of light to send data back and forth between devices, which can be over 100 times faster than the latter.

The process (software, tool??) is known colloquially as Li-Fi, and is a fully network system designed to incorporate ultraviolet light, infrared light and the visible light spectrum, according to Live Science. VLC hasn’t reached any kind of broad-scale adoption because it’s unidirectional, the light source has to be on all the time and it requires a direct line of sight with a receiver. But once these issues have been overcome, we could literally use our existing infrastructure to normalize the sharing of data.

This is both amazingly cool and good, but possibly the worst thing I’ve ever heard in my entire adult life.

RL Editor’s note: LiFi is already being used in fiber optic applications. See video below:

(Read more from “Scientists Just Created Something We’ve Only Heard About in Superhero Movies. And It Changes Everything” HERE)

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