iOS code shows Apple experimenting with ultra fast, light-based Li-Fi wireless data for future iPho

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  • Reply 41 of 56
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    thank god future innovation isn't dependent on the naysayers here with little imagination (not to mention little engineering background). even were Lifi just down downloads and wifi for up, the speed increases would be worth it. 
    LiFi as described would be limited to line of sight, which might be OK for wireless hard drives that are near the computer, but move the drive or the computer out of the room and you have no viable connection.
    As I told you before, there is handoff protocols to take care of this; totally transparent to the user.
    If you insist on taking your whatever out of range, line of sight, you fall back to whatever else, or maybe another LiFi transmitter (or several) in the next room.

    In a world where connected nodes will eventually be everywhere, being within sight of one at all time will be the norm soon enough.
  • Reply 42 of 56
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,043member
    So Apple's next gen screens will have built it solar panels?

     I could see this being useful in areas where you have a group of people in a room all trying to access the same information. Schools, universities, apple's own WWDC, even offices. In these places wiring up lights to use the system might be worth while and it would sure help with the wifi saturation problem.

    I could see it for cheap high bandwidth applications like train stations, airports and in train carriages. For when passengers want to stream video where a very small back channel is required.
  • Reply 43 of 56
    tenlytenly Posts: 707member
    Any idea how well this technology works when daylight is also flooding the room/area? (I haven't watched the video).

    It would be cool to be able to point your home gateway out the window towards the nearest streetlight and pick up an Internet connection through it via the power company (instead of requiring phone lines, co-ax and fiber optics run into the house).
  • Reply 44 of 56
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,283member
    thank god future innovation isn't dependent on the naysayers here with little imagination (not to mention little engineering background). even were Lifi just down downloads and wifi for up, the speed increases would be worth it. 
    I generally find that people most convinced with pie in the sky supposed future technology are not engineers. I am though. 

    another pie in the sky is IOT. A marketing term for connected devices. 
  • Reply 45 of 56
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,283member
    Awesome. This will let you backup your entire iPhone in 1 second by just holding it up to the next generation iMacs.
    Since that's direct line of sight it may work. General walking about Internet connectivity it's best to have signals that don't stop at solid objects. 
  • Reply 46 of 56
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,563member
    And now we can just wait for the lawsuits from people claiming that LiFi bulbs give them migraines…
  • Reply 47 of 56
    "Recent versions of iOS have been found to contain references to Li-Fi, an experimental high-speed wireless networking protocol that uses pulses of light to transmit data and is being marketed as a long-term replacement for Wi-Fi."

    Wi-Max was an attempt to replace Wi-Fi but fell on it's face because computer manufacturers are morons & won't adopt better standards unless you drag them kicking & screaming into the future.  Wi-Max was a better solution because it utilized wavelengths that could travel through walls & solved the problem of congestion.  Sadly the PC industry didn't want to spend money on the chips to support a technology that wasn't widespread yet (adoption into hardware is the reason it wasn't wide spread, can't put the cart before the horse).  Now we're paying the price with overcrowded wifi frequencies.
  • Reply 48 of 56
    Li-fi is a bust even before it becomes anything. The line of sight requirement is instant death.
    This is the greatest misconception about LiFi: Have a look at this demonstration: http://www.homepages.ed.ac.uk/hxh/VIDEOS/Li-1st - full duplex w_ diffused light.mp4

  • Reply 49 of 56
    Recent versions of iOS have been found to contain references to Li-Fi, an experimental high-speed wireless networking protocol that uses pulses of light to transmit data and is being marketed as a long-term replacement for Wi-Fi.




    Beginning with iOS 9.1, the operating system's library cache file makes mention of "LiFiCapability" alongside other hardware and software capability declarations. The change was spotted by Twitter user Chase Fromm and independently confirmed by AppleInsider.

    Li-Fi works in a way not entirely unlike a traditional infrared remote control. Data is transmitted by rapidly modulating a light source, and received with a light sensor before being reassembled into an electronic signal.

    Unlike your television remote, Li-Fi uses visible light and the modulation happens in a manner imperceptible to the human eye: that means the same bulb that lights your hallway can act as a data access point. It's also much faster, with theoretical throughput capacity of up to 224 gigabits per second.



    Li-Fi is still in the experimental phase, but a number of companies are working to commercialize the technology. At least one firm, India-based Velmenni, has already begun real-world testing.

    In addition to the software references, Apple is known to be working on hardware implementations for light-based wireless data transfer, or optical wireless communication.

    A patent application filed in 2013 and assigned to Apple describes a method of "optical modulation using an image sensor." The sensor in question could be switched between image capture and data capture modes, allowing for light capabilities without adding additional hardware.

    Apple envisions this particular system being used for indoor location, but the general principle is the same as more high-bandwidth applications.

    Thanks to Sebastian for the tip.
    There is also some interesting patent application by pureLiFi: http://bit.ly/1Zzw7m0, and our ligthmessage technology:
    H. Haas


    gatorguy
  • Reply 50 of 56
    jmncl said:
    This article is ridiculous. Just above in that screenshot you can read "LlumeButtonCapability" so in the same way you could say Apple is launching a new button do this amazing thing called Llume! Or not. There's obviously some binary stuff going on in that dump that is replacing the initial letters with a '.L' and so turning *W*iFi into *L*iFi.. But hey I guess such mundane reasons don't sell ad impressions.

    You clearly have no idea how any of this works. 
    Actually, I'm pretty sure he's hit the nail on the head. What it looks like is that we've got a bunch of partial C strings, preceded by some sort of 32-bit pointer or index. If I had to make a guess, I might surmise that there's some kind of simple Lempel-Ziv type compression going on here. So the "§L" preceding "lumeButtonCapability" is a 32-bit integer, either 0x4ca4 (19620) or 0xa44c (42060), depending on whether it's little- or big-endian, and that that integer points to either an offset or an index into a table somewhere containing a string that ends with "Vo", so that the full string, once decompressed, ends with "VolumeButtonCapability". Whatever the prefix is, there'd be at least one other string somewhere else in the file sharing the same prefix, if I'm right, so the file size would be slightly reduced by replacing this instance with a pointer to the other one. Presumably, the full prefix would be longer than 32 bits in length, resulting in a space savings equal to its length minus 32 bits. The characters § and L show up in the ASCII display on the right-hand side because those are the characters corresponding to 0xa4 and 0x4c respectively in the Mac OS Roman character set. Similarly, between "ifiCapability" and the zero terminating the string before it, you have another 32-bit integer, either 0x4cd4 or 0xd44c, again depending on the endianness of the file format. 0x4c happened to be one of the bytes in the pointer, so you'll get another "L" showing up in the ASCII display. If you were to reverse-engineer the format of this file and figure out what prefix string that points to, I bet you'd find that the prefix ends with a "W".
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 51 of 56
    dacloodacloo Posts: 890member
    The TED talk mentions it's just using a $3 LED light, but he skips over the cost to modulate the light and he skips over the fact each source light will need to be hooked up to the Internet. There's a LONG road ahead to make LiFi practical. And the line-of-sight thing is going to be an issue for mobile phones, both sender and receiver. Nice to have Internet in the airplane, but once all the lights go of so everyone can go to sleep, it's end of your LiFi connection as well.
  • Reply 52 of 56
    Mr_GreyMr_Grey Posts: 118member
    gatorguy said:
    http://techcrunch.com/2015/11/29/li-fi-probably-wont-be-the-new-wi-fi-for-most-people/

    "While Li-Fi does come with the advantage of not interfering with radio signals, a lot of the benefits are overpowered by the simple fact that visible light cannot travel through walls, an essential factor which gives old-school Wi-Fi a huge advantage. This line-of-sight limitation does make the system more secure and gives better control over emissions, but it’s unclear what the minimum distance for signal reception would be if clear line-of-sight is achieved. With that in mind, it is easy to imagine the signal being intercepted by someone with a telephoto lens and an optical sensor tuned appropriately."

    It may make a nice connectivity option for certain uses and given the right conditions, but wi-fi isn't going anywhere anytime soon. 
    I agree, they can both be utilized as when needed.  Just as the iPhone can switch between Wi-Fi and cellular as required.

    Li-Fi is going to be used through.  Of that I am pretty sure, it certainly isn't DOA as some suggest IMHO.
    http://www.sciencealert.com/li-fi-tested-in-the-real-world-for-the-first-time-is-100-times-faster-than-wi-fi
    I'm not so sure.  The fact that Apple has included code for it is actually the strongest indicator that it might be something.  Previous to today I would have put Li-FI in the "pipe dream" category.  

    The reason is that not only does Li-FI NOT go through walls, it only works over a 3 metre distance.  And even if you suppose that the distance is going to be increased over time (a reasonable assumption), that means that the environment for Li-FI will be just as, if not more "polluted" than that for Wi-Fi.  It seems to me (not an engineer though) that to make it work over the same distance Wi-Fi does, it would have to sense all the many light sources in the environment and pick the signal out of all that noise.  

    If it happens at all it's either a niche thing, or it's literally years and years away from the point at which it could supplant Wi-Fi.  Maybe even decades. 
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 53 of 56
    Mr_Grey said:
    I agree, they can both be utilized as when needed.  Just as the iPhone can switch between Wi-Fi and cellular as required.

    Li-Fi is going to be used through.  Of that I am pretty sure, it certainly isn't DOA as some suggest IMHO.
    http://www.sciencealert.com/li-fi-tested-in-the-real-world-for-the-first-time-is-100-times-faster-than-wi-fi
    I'm not so sure.  The fact that Apple has included code for it is actually the strongest indicator that it might be something.  Previous to today I would have put Li-FI in the "pipe dream" category.
    That's not anywhere near being established as fact, and I'd still put it very much in that "pipe dream" category.
  • Reply 54 of 56
    tenlytenly Posts: 707member
    I wish that Apple would come up with the flagship set of features for the iPhone 7 and put ALL of those features in 3 or even 4 packages.  A 3.5" shell, a 4" shell, a 4.7" shell and a 5.5" shell.  There would be no difference between them in terms of features and functionality.  Out of necessity, they would need different screens and different sized batteries, but hopefully they would all be roughly equivalent in battery life.  They would be branded as iPhone nano, iPhone mini, iPhone and iPhone plus.  If 4 sizes are too many - then make it 3.  (Drop the 4" and the 4.7" and create a 4.4" model).  Now here's the important bit...all of these phones have identical features and capabilities - the only usability difference is the screen size - and therefore they would all be exactly the same price.  I know plenty of people that want to carry a smaller phone - but they don't want to have to sacrifice on features.  They would happily pay "full price" for a smaller phone - in fact they would prefer to.  One size does not fit all.  People have many different reasons for wanting different sized phones.  Who are we to judge them?  The first year all 4 sizes are available will see increased sales as all of the people who have compromised on size because they didn't have a choice can finally get a full-featured smartphone in the size that best suits their lifestyle, their hands, their purse, their pocket or whatever!  I know that this means more tooling, more SKU's and more assembly lines - but I think that the market for each size is large enough to warrant the added manufacturing complexities.  After the first year, Apple will have real world data available and if one particular size is not selling well enough, they can cancel it the following year (but I don't think that will happen).  I think having a full range of sizes available will entice some of the wealthier folks to buy a nano (3.5") AND one of the larger ones - so they have the right form factor for different occasions...

    They can and should still sell multiple tiers of phones. What I am suggesting above is instead of 2 sizes (7 and 7+), they release 4 sizes!  Of course they will still sell the 6s and a lower priced model - but I would limit the legacy and older models to 1 or 2 sizes.  Only the current model would be available in all 4 sizes.

    Here are the features of the IPhone 7: (insert feature list here): It's available in 5 colours and 4 sizes!!!  All phones are functionally identical and sell for the same price (based on memory capacity).

    Oh!  And one more thing... This year we are proud to introduce the iPhone 7 Pro.  It's 12mm thicker than the iPhone and the battery lasts 3-days on a full charge! 
  • Reply 55 of 56
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,799member
    iPho would be a good name for a Vietnamese fast-food joint that uses apps for menus, ordering, and billing.
  • Reply 56 of 56
    Li-fi is a bust even before it becomes anything. The line of sight requirement is instant death.
    I don't think line of sight requirement is a deal killer because I can envision a system where every light in every room of your house is LiFi capable. Those lights are hard wired into your local network, either through dedicated Cat6 cables, etc., or through some new form of electrical wiring that allows for both power and Gigabit (or higher) data speeds similar to the power line stuff available today. In this type of system line of sight isn't that big of an issue. Sure, it would be expensive at first to deck out every room, but you could start with a couple rooms at first and add as the technology matures and becomes more affordable.

    I have a feeling eventually LiFi technology will be built into every new smart home, or at least be an option.
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