The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the increasing demand for ultra-fast and reliable data transmission, especially in densely populated urban areas and environments with radio frequency restrictions, and growing importance of technologies such as LED light sources equipped with modulation techniques for data encoding, and specialized receivers capable of converting light signals back into digital data, creating a promising pathway for the future of high-speed wireless communication. In the last three years alone, there have been over 4.1 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on 5G in technology: Li-fi communication. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 1.5 million patents to analyze innovation intensity for the technology industry, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Li-fi communication is a key innovation area in 5G

Light fidelity (Li-i) is a wireless communication system that employs visible light for data transmission. It relies on LEDs for transmitting signals and photodetectors for reception, enabling rapid wireless communication. Li-Fi provides benefits including swifter data transfer speeds, expanded bandwidth, and heightened security when compared to conventional Wi-Fi technology.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 440+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of Li-fi communication.

Key players in Li-fi communication – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to Li-fi communication

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
ZTE 129 Unlock Company Profile
Casio Computer 159 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 237 Unlock Company Profile
InterDigital 37 Unlock Company Profile
Lutron Electronics 43 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 88 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 39 Unlock Company Profile
SEW-EURODRIVE 52 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 256 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 49 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 49 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 1119 Unlock Company Profile
Kyocera 50 Unlock Company Profile
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 100 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 56 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 56 Unlock Company Profile
The Procter & Gamble 64 Unlock Company Profile
Walmart 102 Unlock Company Profile
Yuyang D&U 57 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 91 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 35 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 76 Unlock Company Profile
pureLiFi 153 Unlock Company Profile
Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications 198 Unlock Company Profile
Signify 920 Unlock Company Profile
Federal Law Enforcement Development Services 107 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Zhigu Rui Tuo Tech 53 Unlock Company Profile
Oledcomm 72 Unlock Company Profile
Korea Electronics Telecommun 48 Unlock Company Profile
Kuang-Chi Technologies 41 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen Guangqi Intelligent Photonics Technology 74 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in Li-fi communication, Panasonic is one of the leading patents filers. The company’s patent focuses the information communication method that involves configuring the exposure time of an image sensor to a maximum of 1/2000 second. This setting results in the emergence of a bright stripe pattern that aligns parallel to multiple exposure lines within the captured image, correlating with changes in the subject's brightness. The method further entails capturing the image, including the bright stripe pattern, by initiating exposures for each exposure line at distinct intervals based on the designated exposure time. Finally, data is demodulated from the bright line pattern within the obtained image, utilizing variations in brightness perpendicular to the exposure lines. Other prominent patent filers in the space include Signify and Philips.  

In terms of application diversity, Walmart leads the pack, while Apple and Lutron Electronics stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Walmart held the top position, followed by Procter & Gamble and InterDigital.  

Li-fi communication holds significant potential within 5G technology due to its ability to transmit data through visible light. This offers advantages like higher data transfer rates, increased bandwidth, and improved security compared to traditional Wi-Fi, making it a promising complement to existing wireless communication methods. Additionally, Li-fi's utilization of LED lights as transmitters can contribute to alleviating wireless network congestion and providing more efficient data transmission in densely populated urban environments.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on 5G.





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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.