Apple Might Be Planning Light-Based Li-Fi Wireless For iPhones

Some people dig for gold. Others dig for ancient artifacts. Still other dig through every bit of code, even those normally indecipherable to humans, to glean a different kind of treasure: the digital kind. That was what Twitter user Chase Fromm was doing when he came across a reference to "LiFiCapability" among the other hardware and software capabilities that iOS 9.1 advertises. This hints that Apple might be planning to introduce support for that Li-Fi wireless communication technology sometime in the near future of iOS and iPhones.

Light-based communication between electronic devices isn't exactly new. After all, your TV remote control uses those same basic principles, except with invisible infrared light. Li-Fi, however, has very significant differences which takes it closer to Wi-Fi technology than infrared, hence the name.

For one, Li-Fi has a significantly higher bandwidth for data, a theoretical 224 gigabits per second. It also makes use of visible light, which means that any lighting fixture can theoretically become an access point all in one. The one disadvantage, since it does rely on visible light, the receiving device should be within the stream of light, almost like a line of sight.

Li-Fi is a relatively young concept though there are some who are already toying with the idea in one form or another. Companies like Philips and GE naturally have their own implementations being developed. Based on this discovery, it seems that Apple is also interested though it isn't clear which implementation it will be going with, or if it has its own.

What purpose will Li-Fi serve in Apple's ecosystem? It's not yet certain but you can be sure that at least one will be for advertising and marketing. After all, Apple did develop the iBeacon technology based on Bluetooth just for that very purpose. But considering Li-Fi's potential implementation inside lighting appliances and indoor scenarios, you can bet it wil also tie-in with HomeKit and other IoT products.

VIA: Apple Insider