Mobile World Congress 2018
Pure LiFi transfers data using lightThis futuristic data-transfer system sees an LED bulb flickering millions of times per second, transferring data using light instead of radio waves. We explain how in this video
Most of our data is transferred using radio waves. But there's a new type of technology in town that uses light instead. Here's how it works. So, how do you transmit data using only light? Well, it starts with this ceiling unit. That plugs in to the internet by Ethernet, and also hooks up to an ordinary LED light. Information is then sent to that light. We can't really tell. It looks like it's just on, but in fact, that light is flickering millions of times a second, and that is beaming out the data to this receiver down here. This receiver decodes those flickering lights and interprets it as the data that is actually being sent. Here, you can see we are streaming a video from this light bulb on to this television. The proof of that comes when I put my hand over the receiver and I stop that light from getting through. And that will actually prevent the streaming from happening. You can see from behind me, it's now frozen up. But what about when you've got lots of different lights in the room? Won't there be interference? Well, the new mock-up product for this year will recognize which light is supposed to be receiving data from and not receive information from any others. Information over radio spectrum isn't going away any time soon, but this is an interesting look at a possible alternative. What do you think? Let me know. I'm Luke Westaway for CNET. Check out CNET.com for loads more from Mobile World Congress.