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MyLifi: The smart lamp that connects to the internet by light

Price when reviewed : £699

The MyLifi is a smart desk lamp that eliminates the need for traditional Wi-Fi connections

Wi-Fi can be notoriously unreliable, especially now the airwaves are crowded with smart home devices, which is why French company Oledcomm thinks devices like its MyLifi lamp, announced today at CES 2018, could eventually become more widespread.

The MyLifi uses a new technology called Light Fidelity, allowing devices to connect to each other using LED lights. It transmits data by “modulating light signals from an LED light bulb” to a dongle that plugs into your laptop or tablet. This then receives the light signals that are being transmitted by the MyLifi lamp, decrypts the LED light signals and converts it into data your laptop can understand.

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The company claims the lamp delivers low latency, fast and reliable internet to any connected device. It has a top speed of 23Mbits/sec, which isn’t all that great compared with regular routers whose speeds can top Gigabits of data per second, but the company believes the device could hold some attraction for gamers, for whom ping is all-important.

MyLifi: Will it use more energy?

One of the other benefits of the MyLifi is energy efficiency. Oledcomm says the MyLifi uses only 13.5W in normal use, which is less than your normal Wi-Fi router at around 20W. The MyLifi lamp cannot wirelessly broadcast a signal around the house, though, so you won’t be able to utilise the technology unless you’re right next to it.

MyLifi: Can it be hacked?

Another benefit of the MyLifi, says Oledcomm, is that the lamp’s signal is more secure than conventional routers, since its signal can’t pass through walls; although, of course, a network is only as secure as its weakest link. Finally, there are also potential health benefits, since the lamp doesn’t work using radio waves.

MyLifi: Price and release date

The MyLifi will be available for pre-order through Indiegogo for $699 / €699 by the end of January 2018.

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