Around the world, some of the brightest people are working on a revolutionary new technology called Li-Fi that looks set to change how we access the internet, from our homes or our businesses. At the forefront of the revolution is a company called pureLiFi. But who are they and what are they doing?
About the company
pureLiFi stands as one of the leaders in the development of Li-Fi technology and at the top of the list of reasons for this is the involvement in the company of Professor Harald Haas, the first person to demonstrate the system to the world. Professor Haas is the Chief Scientific Officer of the company and the man who stood on a stage in July 2011 and showed the world what Li-Fi could do.
The company was established the following year and works alongside those at the University of Edinburgh, where the professor carried out his original work with his team. Their work dates back to 2008 where the D-Light project was undertaken. Other members of the team include highly qualified specialists in visible light communications as well as those with a background in communications and the mobile sector. This connectivity with the best working on Li-Fi puts the company in a unique position.
The company’s mission statement tells much about their aims. Diminishing wireless capacity is a problem the world over and their aim to find new technology that can create secure, reliable and high speed networks that can use lighting infrastructure to deliver data while reducing the use of electricity.
Li-1st represents the first major opportunity that customers have had to try the new VLC applications that are offering cost-effective and high speed communications via the commercial light emitting diode or LED systems.
Currently, the product offers a full duplex communication that has can upload and download data at a speed of 11.5 Mbps while still providing enough light to illuminate a desk space. The strength of the signal is dependent on the strength of the light source and therefore LED offers a powerful and simple option. It can create a plug and play solution for point to point internet access and allows a series of lights to work together in large 600×600 panels. It can even operate with the new T5 replacement LED tubes or downlights that are in common use around businesses.
The idea behind Li-1st is that it is a platform for project pilots with other partners working on Li-Fi and allows them to use the high speed technology to lead to other developments.
Li-Flame is the next generation of the high speed wireless network solution that replaces radio frequencies with visible light and was demonstrated at the Mobile Work Congress in Barcelona. The system can offer substantially denser data deliveries than even the best Wi-Fi system while its very nature means that network instruction from external sources are virtually eliminated.
The system demonstrated offered half duplex communication with an uplink and downlink speed of 10 Mbps over a distance of three metres, all with the use of standard light fixtures – a data rate density of 2Mbps per square meter. It also allows full mobility as it uses portable, battery-powered desktop units for a dense installation and high data rate.
Li-Flame can offer multiple users access to the network and each user retains a higher bandwidth to maintain the speed. It also offers secure wireless communications that cannot be access through a wall. There are no dead zones where the frequencies cannot reach as found with radio frequencies used for Wi-Fi and even the cabling needed for the system is extremely flexible. The end result is a cost effective delivery system for both illumination and data.
The system uses a Li-Flame Ceiling Unit or CU that gets data and power through a standard Ethernet port and is simple to install. It also contains an LED light figure and allows multiple users to access it. The Li-Flame Desktop Unit or DU connected via a USB and allows an uplink of 10 Mbps. The transceiver even has a swivel head to allow it to move and achieve an optimum connection while being battery powered and portable.
The very cutting edge of Li-Fi technology can be seen with the LiFi-X, the smallest, fastest and most secure Li-Fi system so far invented. It is an evolution of the Li-Flame technology that allows users to deploy a fully networked Li-Fi system allowing complete mobility and roaming, multiple access for users and also a system that is simple to use. This means users get a level of experience comparable to current technologies such as Wi-Fi with the added bonus of superior security.
The system eliminates external network intrusions while merging illumination with wireless communication. It offers full duplex communication with a 40 Mbps downlink and uplink as well as full mobility through a portable, USB powered station. It has the security benefits and ability to allow multiple users that made Li-Flame popular and has a greater flexibility in the range of deployments it can work with.
The system can use power from Ethernet connections or from power line communications and installing it is especially simple. It uses a wide range of LED light fixture to create an atto-cell that a number of users can access at any one time. It is powered by USB 2.0 and supporter handover, to allow users to move around without losing their connection to the system, regardless where in the building they need to work.
Already pureLiFi have demonstrated that a range of new products exist that can bring Li-Fi to homes and businesses around the world. This bi-directional, high speed network can also work alongside existing Wi-Fi systems, allowing a best of both world scenarios where the best connection is always maintained, giving users a seamless approach that means the days of download speed drops, congestion on networks or simply loosing coverage in some areas look to be a thing of the past and pureLiFi will be at the front of this change.