Faster Internet Speed Possible with Li-Fi

February 2, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. trump / trʌmp / (v.) – to do better than something
Example: The new smartphone trumps all other similar devices in the market.

2. reliance / rɪˈlaɪ əns / (n.) – confident dependence to something
Example: Your reliance on technology can be a disadvantage.

3. brainchild / breɪnˌtʃaɪld / (n.) – a product of one’s creative mind
Example: The lightbulb is the brainchild of Thomas Edison.

4. exhibit / ɪgˈzɪb ɪt / (v.) – to show or display
Example: The company exhibited its new laptop during the gathering.

5. indisputable / ɪn dɪˈspyu tə bəl / (adj.) – cannot be doubted
Example: The professor’s contributions to physics are indisputable.


Read the text below.
Internet speed of up to 100 times faster than current wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) technology is now possible with light fidelity (Li-Fi) technology.

In a lab test, the new Li-Fi technology was able to send information at a top speed of 224 gigabits per second, easily trumping Wi-Fi technology's top speed of 600 megabits per second. A Li-Fi-enabled lightbulb was used to transmit this information. This was achieved through Li-Fi's reliance on the visible light spectrum, which is 10,000 times larger than the radio waves tapped by Wi-Fi.

In addition to its greater speed, Li-Fi also allows for more secure local networks, since visible light cannot penetrate obstacles like walls. It can also be used on aircraft because it does not interfere with radio signals.

Li-Fi is the brainchild of Professor Harold Haas of the University of Edinburgh [ED-n-bur-uh], who exhibited his invention at a Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) conference in 2011. Last year, the Estonian start-up company Velmenni tested the technology in offices and industrial settings in its capital Tallinn.

Although the technology's greater speed is indisputable, it still has its setbacks. It cannot be used in direct sunlight, since sunlight would disrupt the signal. Also, because visible light cannot penetrate walls, the connection would be lost once a user leaves the room.

At the moment, visible light communication is only being tested by very few companies. Disney recently developed a toy magic wand that can switch on lightbulbs on a dress.  Professor Haas even pointed out the possibility of turning household LED lightbulbs into Li-Fi transmitters as a way of making the technology accessible to consumers. Velmenni CEO Deepak Solanki predicts the availability of the technology to consumers within three to four years.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think most people in your country would be interested in Li-Fi? Why or why not?
·         What can be drawbacks to people having high-speed Internet?

Discussion B

·         What situations require secure Internet connection? Enumerate as many as you can.
·         How do you make sure your Internet connection is secure?

February 2, 2016