Software update turns smartphones into LiFi optical receivers

June 22, 2018 // By Julien Happich
The Optical Camera Communications Technology developed by Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) uses the camera function embedded in smart phones as a receiver for visible light communication (also known as LiFi). This makes LiFi readily available to millions of consumers upon a simple software upgrade.

In LiFi, blinking LED lights encode signals at high frequency to transmit data, and although the blinking remains undetectable to the human eye, light sensors can pick up the signal and decode it as a form of wireless data transmission.

In recent years, companies in the wireless communication industry have been conducting 5G experiments at a high–frequency band. Visible light communication makes use of an ultra–high frequency band of 430 to 770 THz, enabling extremely fast data transmission. Theoretically, it can achieve a communication volume of several terabytes per second.

This technology has been applied to self-service stores. It won a 2016 Red Dot Communication Design Award and a 2016 ICT Month Innovative Elite Award.


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