Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

This sci-fi alternative to Wi-Fi is 100 times faster

led.jpg

Wi-Fi's days are numbered.

Li-Fi, a technology that uses light to transmit data rather than wireless signals, has been tested outside of a lab for the first time - successfully transmitting data at speeds of 1GB per second. Which is seriously quick. Like, 100 times faster than Wi-Fi, and capable of downloading an entire HD film in seconds.

The light-based data system was created by Professor Harald Haas from the University of Edinburgh in 2011, who proved that rapidly blinking LEDs could transmit information in binary code at speeds far faster than conventional wireless connections. Imagine an office where LED lights both illuminated a room, and transferred data to an optical receiver on a computer, allowing it to transfer information and downloads with the internet.

li-fi

Haas demonstrating his early Li-Fi experiments

Velmenni, a startup based in Tallinn, Estonia, revealed that it has begun trialling the technology within offices and industrial environments.

"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."

In addition to being faster, Li-Fi is arguably more secure than Wi-Fi, in that networks can only exist within a space that has access to the data-transmitting lights. You can't piggyback on to a Li-Fi connection through a wall, for instance. 

However, a major obstacle for Li-Fi technology is retrofitting existing computers and smart devices with receivers that can detect the 'light' connection. For more information on how Li-Fi works, here's Harald Hass explaining all in a TED talk from 2011. 

Related

mostused1a.jpg

If you've used that Facebook 'most used words' app you should worry

surf.jpg

This board lets you surf at your standing desk

batery.jpg

8 smartphone battery myths busted

shutterstock_324434864.jpg

Australia to protect its beaches with shark drones

tattoo1.jpg

Tattoos that can tell you if you're ill are now a thing

glass.JPG

Google Glass isn't dead - two new models are in the works

More

Fidget spinners might contain deadly levels of lead

Is your toy slowly poisoning you to death?

by Gary Ogden
02 Jun 2017

We might be about to get smartphones that charge fully in five minutes

An Israeli start-up claims it's going to go into production next year

by Tom Mendelsohn
15 May 2017

5 of the best fidget toys on the market right now

Tackle your knuckle cracking head on

by Matt Tate
10 May 2017

Some Italians have created a phone cover that also makes espresso

No, we don't know why either

by Tom Mendelsohn
08 May 2017

New app will rebalance the London rental market in favour of landlords

Finally, the capital's hard-up property owners will get their due with Rentberry

by Tom Mendelsohn
26 Apr 2017

This knife-toting robot playing stabby hand will make you nervous

I for one welcome our new robot overlords

by Tom Mendelsohn
25 Apr 2017

Now you can turn your iPhone into a retro mac

For the man who has everything

by Tom Mendelsohn
21 Apr 2017

The best turntables of 2017

How the tables have turned

by David Cornish
20 Apr 2017

The Tamagotchi is back

Great news for fans of neglecting responsibilities and watching tiny creatures literally shit themselves to death!

by Emily Reynolds
11 Apr 2017

Self-healing smartphone screens could exist by 2020

Could it be curtains for shady smartphone repair stalls across Britain?

by Tom Mendelsohn
05 Apr 2017