Almost four years after Professor Harald Haas of Edinburgh University introduced Li-Fi during a Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conference last 2011, the super-fast optical wireless communications system boasting of Internet speed of 1 Gbps (gigabits per second) Li-Fi is finally being tested in the real world after an Estonian startup company Velmenni started implementing the technology in offices around Tallinn.
Li-Fi, which utilizes visible spectrum in delivering data, is considered to be 100 times faster than the traditional Wi-Fi. The speed that Li-Fi offers makes downloading high-definition movies in just a few seconds a reality. Unlike Wi-Fi, which uses radio waves to send data, this new optical wireless communications technology uses a light source in delivering information.
In an interview at the International Business Times, the CEO of Velmenni Deepak Solanki said that they have successfully designed an ingenious lighting solution to make use of Haas’ visible light communication (VLC) technology. The company, which has been among the finalists for the Slush 100 startup competition in Helsinki, is currently setting up a pilot project with a private client. Solanki has also said that within three to four years, this incredibly fast method of delivering data using light will be available to consumers.
Although it is quite impossible to fully replace Wi-Fi with Li-Fi, the latter can be used to create a more efficient wireless communication system in offices and even in residential units. Li-Fi, which was invented by Prof Haas, uses visible light communication in sending data at a very high speed. Haas believed that Li-Fi is superior than Wi-Fi; according to him, Li-Fi is a more secure solution in local networks since light cannot pass through walls. And because Li-Fi does not interfere with signals, it can be used even in places like aircraft where signal interference is an issue.