With the iPhone 7 to land later this year, it looks like Apple has been experimenting with light-based wireless data technology, Li-Fi, for it’s new handset.
First spotted by Twitter user Chase Fromm, coding in the latest versions of iOS 9.1 firmware mentions “Li-Fi Capability”, which AppleInsider has since reportedly confirmed.
A super-fast Wi-Fi alternative, Li-Fi, or light fidelity, was invented by Professor Harald Haas from the University of Edinburgh, and transfers data over the visual spectrum rather than via radio waves.
It uses smart LED light bulbs that flash on and off very quickly, faster than your eye would be able to see, to send binary information.
Late last year, a start up company developed its own smart Li-Fi LED lights, and during testing, it was able to send data through Li-Fi at up to 1GBps, which basically means you’d be able to download a HD film in just a few seconds.
Of course, Li-Fi technology is still in very early stages of development; Apple’s inclusion of the coding in iOS 9.1 may end up being a simple experiment by the Cupertino-based giant to make its devices compatible, and support for Li-Fi may not end up in the iPhone 7 at all.
But it could also indicate that Apple may be developing its own Li-Fi enabling smart lightbulbs for the home that could work with future iPhones and iPads and other devices, like the Apple TV.