Using light to transmit data is faster and more secure; it's a bright idea.
Most studies have concluded that WiFi is safe, but some people still worry that we shouldn't be bathing in EMF radiation all day and night. WiFi also goes through walls and is not totally secure.
Then there is LiFi, or Light Fidelity, where the invisible flickering of a light source transmits data at very high speed, up to 224 gigabits per second. There are no interference issues as there can be with radio frequencies, and it could be more secure since it can't go through walls.
Now Oledcomm, a French company that has been making commercial LiFi equipment that is used in hospitals and other facilities where they worry about interference from WiFi, has introduced this lovely desktop lamp, designed by Pierre Garner of Eliumstudio. It has been brought to North America and the CES show in Las Vegas by Montreal's Global LiFi Tech has already won two awards. According to the press release in V2COM,
LiFi provides data transmission by imperceptibly modulating the light emitted by an LED light. The resulting data connection is ultra-fast, secure and free of harmful electromagnetic emissions. Light signals are received and converted into data by a LiFi dongle connected to the mobile device.
The LEDs in the lamp are adjustable for colour temperature from warm to daylight. There is also its own built-in security system. It's a nice looking lamp, too; according to the designer,
MyLiFi® is next-generation lighting that goes beyond the visible spectrum by providing easy, secure Internet connectivity. We wanted to materialize the non-material with this ‘smart’ light. To achieve that, we’ve created a simple, pure object that makes technology disappear in favour of comfort and usability.
In the video they claim that LiFi is "radiation free"; one could be a pedant and point out that light is just a different frequency of electromagnetic radiation that we happen to have evolved to see. There are also some electrohypersensitive people who claim that they are affected by the flicker of LED bulbs. But if you are nervous about bathing in WiFi, and are willing to fork out US$ 1650 for a lamp (and I hope a dongle or two) this could be attractive.
Of course, none of our hardware has the LiFi receiver in it so everything will need a dongle, which is a bit of a pain. But they say the dongle can connect to everything; "all devices, including computers, tablets, and smartphones, can connect to the network instantly." It's a shame that it isn't built into our phones and devices because using light is a bright idea.