A new wireless technology known as Li-Fi has been developed that could provide a connection that’s 100 times faster than Wi-Fi. The technology has now been deployed in real-life situations for the first time.
Scientists have achieved up to 224 GB per second speeds in the lab earlier this year. Now scientists have taken Li-Fi out of the lab for the first time, trialling it in offices and industrial environments in Tallinn, Estonia and reporting that they can achieve data transmission at 1 GB per second which is 100 times faster than current average Wi-Fi speeds.
“We are doing a few pilot projects within different industries where we can utilise the VLC (visible light communication) technology,” Deepak Solanki, CEO of Velmenni told IBTimes UK. “Currently we have designed a smart lighting solution for an industrial environment where the data communication is done through light. We are also doing a pilot project with a private client where we are setting up a Li-Fi network to access the internet in their office space.”
Like Wi-Fi, LiFi is wireless and uses similar 802.11 protocols, but it uses visible light communication (instead of radio frequency waves) which has much wider bandwidth. Li-Fi is a subset of optical wireless communications (OWC) and can be a complement to RF communication (Wi-Fi or Cellular network), or a replacement in contexts of data broadcasting.
The inventor of Li-Fi, Professor Harald Haas from the University of Edinburgh, has previously claimed that in the future every LED light bulb could be used as an ultra-fast alternative to Wi-Fi. In a TED talk describing the technology, Haas said that current infrastructure was suitable for the integration of Li-Fi.
“All we need to do is fit a small microchip to every potential illumination device and this would then combine two basic functionalities: illumination and wireless data transmission,” Haas said. “In the future we will not only have 14 billion light bulbs, we may have 14 billion Li-Fis deployed worldwide for a cleaner, greener and even brighter future.”