New ‘Li-Fi’ is 100 times faster than Wi-Fi, and it’s now been shown off in a phone

Rob Waugh
Contributor
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The gadgets in your pocket could be about to get a serious speed boost, as a company has shown off a light-based system up to 100 times faster than Wi-Fi.

Li-Fi uses visible light from LED bulbs to transfer data, rather than WiFi’s radio waves – transmitting data in the form of ultra-rapid flickers from LED bulbs.

Until now, Li-Fi has never been shown off built into a gadget, but at this week’s MWC conference in Barcelona, PureLiFi showed off the technology working in two gadgets.

PureLiFi made the world’s first Skype call using a Samsung phone with a LiFi sleeve, and also demonstrated a Dell laptop with a Li-Fi dongle.

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The company launched its LiFi-XC product in October 2017, but it’s never been built into gadgets before.

Alistair Banham, pureLiFi’s CEO, said, ‘These two new integrated examples point to the future that LiFi will provide. We see LiFi connecting every device and everyone.

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‘Today we’ve proven we’re clearly on the way to realising that vision.’

Harald Haas founder of pureLiFi says, ‘This is what we have been waiting for the past 16 years. This will truly enable the fourth industrial revolution by providing the nervous system of wireless communications connecting everything. LiFi is ready for real integration.’

The technology began to make waves after scientist Haas of the University of Edinburgh discussed it in a 2011 TED talk. It has been viewed 2.2 million times.

Technologies based on Li-Fi are currently being developed by several companies in Russia, Mexico and around the world.

Dr Haas has shown that cheap solar cells can be used as a ‘receiver’ for Li-Fi – and hopes that they could be used as a combined power source/data network in developing countries.