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Home » Forget Wi-Fi. Meet The New Li-Fi Internet by Harald Haas (Transcript)

Forget Wi-Fi. Meet The New Li-Fi Internet by Harald Haas (Transcript)

Harald Haas

Transcript of Forget Wi-Fi. Meet The New Li-Fi Internet by Harald Haas at TED Talks

Listen to the MP3 Audio here: MP3 – Forget Wi-Fi. Meet the new Li-Fi Internet by Harald Haas @ TED Talks


I would like to demonstrate for the first time in public that it is possible to transmit a video from a standard off-the-shelf LED lamp to a solar cell with a laptop acting as a receiver. There is no Wi-Fi involved, it’s just light.

And you may wonder, what’s the point? And the point is this: There will be a massive extension of the Internet to close the digital divide, and also to allow for what we call “The Internet of Things” — tens of billions of devices connected to the Internet.

In my view, such an extension of the Internet can only work if it’s almost energy-neutral. This means we need to use existing infrastructure as much as possible. And this is where the solar cell and the LED come in.

I demonstrated for the first time at TED in 2011, Li-Fi, or Light Fidelity. Li-Fi uses off-the-shelf LEDs to transmit data incredibly fast, and also in a safe and secure manner. Data is transported by the light, encoded in subtle changes of the brightness. If we look around, we have many LEDs around us, so there’s a rich infrastructure of Li-Fi transmitters around us. But so far, we have been using special devices — small photo detectors, to receive the information encoded in the data. I wanted to find a way to also use existing infrastructure to receive data from our Li-Fi lights. And this is why I have been looking into solar cells and solar panels.

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