Faster Wifi by way of Lightbulbs

BBC reports that Estonian start-up Velmenni recently completed the first real world test of visible light spectrum-based Wi-Fi, cleverly dubbed Li-Fi by Edinburgh University professor Harald Hass after first demonstrating the technology in a 2011 TED talk. After deploying a Li-Fi internet system in a working office, the Velmenni team was able to transmit data at 1 Gbps, roughly 100 times faster than the average Wi-Fi speed. In laboratory test, the Velmenni team says theoretical speeds of 224 Gbps are possible.

Li-Fi’s distribution across the visible light spectrum means that it can only work indoors. The powerful rays of the sun disrupt the signal, a security concern shared by sister light-based technology LiDAR. But within the confines of indoor spaces where the bleed from other light sources can be controlled, Li-Fi’s incredible strength can make it a powerful enhancement to existing Wi-Fi networks.

The technology is already being eyed by airlines for in-flight internet service, where a light-based streaming service would eliminate existing security risks posed by devices sharing the plane’s radio spectrum. The brightly lit, but predominantly interior spaces of airports are another obvious fit for the technology.

Velmenni CEO Deepak Solanki says if all goes according to plan, Li-Fi could very well be deployed across consumer products in just three to four years. Stay tuned!”



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