BOFFINS HAVE field tested Li-Fi for the first time, achieving wireless speeds 100 times faster than WiFi.
The first out-of-lab tests took place in Estonia and resulted in speeds of 1GBps. Up to now with WiFi we talked in megabits and gigabits per second.
The new technology uses a technique called Visible Light Communication, which has already recorded a speed of 224GBps under laboratory conditions. This is equivalent to downloading 18 high-definition films every second.
The really clever bit, however, is that the data can piggyback on existing smart lighting, adjusting brightness and frequency at a level that is imperceptible to the human eye and yet carries quantities of data hitherto unseen in a wireless network.
The lights can imperceptibly transfer data around an environment even when switched off. Additionally, the way light travels means that the moment it leaves a closed environment the data can't be detected and is therefore far more secure than WiFi, assuming some mad scientist doesn't find a way to turn the sound into a Li-Fi beacon.
Li-Fi is Scottish invention created by Harald Haas, but the trials are being conducted in Estonia by Velmenni, a startup run by Deepak Solanki.
Solanki told International Business Times UK: "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 isn't suitable for all environments, open spaces being a prime example of a non-starter, but could be big news for companies where the creation of ultrafast, virtually unhackable networks could disrupt and transform business in the future.
The next stage will be finding a way to integrate Li-Fi bulbs into existing lighting circuits to create instant infrastructures for networking.
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