Li-Fi, a wireless communication technology similar to Wi-Fi, has been proven to transmit data at speeds of up to 1GB per second – 100 times faster than current average Wi-Fi speeds.
At that speed a high definition movie could be downloaded in mere seconds.
The technology was trialled in Tallin, Estonia by the Estonian start-up Velmenni in offices and industrial environments.
Instead of using radio frequency waves, which Wi-Fi does, Li-Fi uses visible light communication or infra-red and near ultraviolet spectrum, part of Optical wireless communications technology, capable of carrying much more data. The technology uses visible light between 400 and 800 terahertz (THz) and transmits messages with binary code.
Velmenni CEO Deepak Solanki told IBTimes UK: “We are doing a few pilot projects within different industries where we can utilise the VLC (visible light communication) technology. 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.”
Li-Fi was invented by Professor Harald Haas of the University of Edinburgh in 2011. Haas demonstrated that more data could be transmitted from a the flickering light of a single LED compared to a cellular tower.
Don’t expect Li-Fi to replace Wi-Fi any time soon though. The cost of replacing existing infrastructure is too high and there are some major drawbacks to the technology, such as its short range.
The first commercially available Li-Fi system, the Li-1st, was demonstrated by PureLiFi at the 2014 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.