Superfast Li-Fi Technology Tested In The Wild

Estonian startup Velmenni trials Li-Fi technology in Tallinn offices

An Estonian startup has successfully tested a faster alternative to Wi-Fi in the public, rolling the technology out in offices in the Estonian capital of Tallinn.

Called Li-Fi, the technology allows for data transfer at high speeds using visible light communication (VLC), with the trials conducted by start up Velmenni reaching data transfer speeds of up to 1GBps. This is more than 100 times the speed of Wi-Fi.

Pilot projects

Speaking to IBTimes, Velmenni’s CEO Deepak Solanki said: “We are doing a few pilot projects within different industries where we can utilise the VLC technology.

Wi-Fi (c) marinini, Shuttersctock 2013“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.”

The technology was invented by Professor Harald Haas at the University of Edinburgh. Haas and his team say that self-powering solar panels could provide high speed Internet to the most remote parts of Earth by using Li-Fi technology.

Haas, who also coined the term Li-Fi, and his team have been working on the integration of power gathering and data reception and are now looking for industrial partners to commercialise the technology. PureLiFi, the University’s commercial arm, has already created a smartwatch prototype.

Li-Fi could also have uses in developed countries, particularly for powering wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT). Haas believes the technology could be particularly useful for smartwatches which require frequent charges.

“The potential expansion to the internet is massive and my aspiration is that this broadband solar panel receiver technology for Li-Fi will help solve the challenges of the digital divide throughout the world, and catalyse the uptake of the IoT as connectivity and battery-free power supplies are essential if we want to connect a trillion objects to the Internet,” said Haas.

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