Oppo patents a smartphone with Li-Fi – wireless technology up to 100 times faster than Wi-Fi
Let’s Go Digital reports that the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo (the fifth largest in the world, part of the BBK concern) has patented a smartphone with a Li-Fi module.
Li-Fi is a Wi-Fi alternative that has been in development for several years. Li-Fi stands for Light Fidelity – this technology uses light instead of radio waves. The LED lamp on the signal source emits a high frequency flicker, and the photocell on the client device captures it and converts it into a digital signal.
Li-Fi is said to be capable of transferring data rates from 1 to 20 Gbps – these speeds are comparable to high-speed wired USB 3.2 and HDMI 2.0 connections. However, there are two drawbacks: the light does not pass through the walls, and even in line of sight from the transmitter, the effective range is only 10 meters.
In addition, it is reported that in the current state of Li-Fi on the receiving device is more focused on receiving information flow than transmitting. Therefore, now it is more a complementary Wi-Fi technology, rather than a full replacement.
Light transmission is “significantly” more energy efficient and eliminates the problem of interference – it can be freely used on airplanes, underwater and in production. And in residential buildings, it will allow you to achieve a more stable connection, since signals from different apartments will not intersect and create noise.
Oppo’s patent describes a smartphone with two photocells – on the top and on the back, next to the camera. Most likely, such a solution is necessary so that the user can hold the device as it will be convenient, without worrying about blocking the signal with his hand.
At the moment, Oppo has not released any official announcements of such a smartphone – it may well not appear at all or come out in a few years. The latter is quite likely, since electronics manufacturers only started using Wi-Fi 6 modules last year, and this standard has not yet become widespread.
It is possible that consumer brands will turn to Li-Fi only after Wi-Fi 6 loses its novelty or turns out to be a failure – at the moment, the main limitation for this standard remains that it uses the 6 GHz band, which in most countries either banned for private and commercial use, or reserved for 5G networks.
Other possible applications for Li-Fi include wireless signal transmission between stationary devices such as TVs / monitors and a variety of signal sources. Light travels instantly over short distances, so Li-Fi has very low latency. During the latest tests, the data transfer rate with the help of light is still at the level of 10 Gb / s, which is significantly lower than that of modern HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 standards, but quite comparable to HDMI 2.0