This LiFi-enabled Oppo smartphone is rumoured to be 100 times faster than WiFi

We’ve come a long way: from GSM, GPRS and EDGE, to UMTS, HSPA and LTE, it’s been quite an interesting journey and we’ve made our way through the alphabet of connectivity and frequencies. Oppo is now ready to take us even further.

LiFi is hot on everyone’s lips. Its a new wireless data communication tech that is said to be 100 times faster, safe and more energy efficient than WiFi.

WiFi versus LiFi

WiFi – which is short for Wireless Fidelity – is the wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to create wireless network connections, provide internet access, or transmit data.

LiFi or Light Fidelity, on the other hand, is an “emerging piece of technology that makes use of Visible Light Communication (VLC) technology instead of radio waves to transmit data”.

It’s faster and better, and mobile manufacturers are finally catching on, with Oppo leading the pack. As reported by Let’s Go Digital, Oppo is working on a LiFi-enabled phone that is reportedly 100 times faster than WiFi.

Watch: Understanding LiFi

Oppo’s LiFi patent

Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications filed a patent design with the China National Intellectual Property Office (CNIPA) back in December 2019. The patent was approved and published on 31 July 2020 and can be viewed here.

As per the patent file, which also contains 24 product images, the phone would have a narrow screen edges coupled with a full-screen design. Instead of a front-facing camera, the phone would have a “pop-up camera”, similar to the Oppo Reno series.

Let’s Go Digital explains that the rectangle visible on the pop-up system (in the image below) will be used for LiFi communication. A square LiFi bit can be seen on the back of the device which would work as the receiver.

oppo lifi
Image via Let’s Go Digital

Oppo’s camera

In addition to the above, the Oppo phone would also a have dual camera setup on the rear, but it’s possible that the final smartphone design could even include a triple or quad-camera system.

Note the small circle on the rear of the device, under the dual camera? Let’s Go Digital explains:

“The small circle under the camera system is striking. This characteristic circle is also called the O-Dot by Oppo and is only used within the Reno telephone series. The small protruding O-Dot ensures that the phone does not only rest on the camera system when you put the device flat on the table

Oppo’s LiFi utility patent

Three days after filing the first patent, Oppo also filed an associated utility patent with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to ensure worldwide protection for the LiFi integration in the theoretical Oppo device.

The utility patent, simply titled LiFi device and projection system describes how the technology would work. The patented LiFi device would be installed in an Oppo smartphone, and consist of a housing, printed circuit board and module for signal reception.

View the design patent for the Oppo LiFi smartphone  here and the patent regarding the operation of the LiFi technology here .

LiFi advantages disadvantages

Also read – Oppo files patent for device with sensors under ‘3D waterfall’ display

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