Apple looks set to include a li-fi capability in future versions of the iPhone, meaning it can access high-speed data using lighting.
The backing of a tech giant like Apple would transform the technology from scientific curiousity into a mainstream technique for accessing the internet, and provide a huge boost to the lighting industry.
The iPhone’s operating system now openly references li-fi capability in its programming code.
Li-fi uses modulated visible light from LEDs to transmit data to enabled devices. It’s invisible to the human eye, and is much faster than traditional wifi.
Apple already holds a patent on using its camera to capture data as well as images, so the company is well placed to exploit the new technology.
It’s not the first time this year that Apple has been making news in the lighting industry.
Last month the company added a blue-light reduction feature into an update to its operating system in what was widely seen as the the first acknowledgement by a major manufacturer that blue light can be a health hazard.
In January Apple received its first ever patent for a lighting system, in a move that has again raised the issue of the company’s intentions in the lighting market.
Li-fi, smart connectivity and the Internet of Things will be discussed at a special debate at the LuxLive Middle East 2016 on Wednesday 13 April and Thursday 14 April at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. See the full programme and register for free at www.luxlive.ae