Tag Archives: VLC

Goodbye wifi, hello LiFi?

Most of us depend a great deal on wifi in our daily lives. Wifi allows us to access the internet, lets us work more efficiently on our computers, and connects us to our family and friends online. According to experts, wifi technology, though efficient, has one weakness: it uses radio waves. The problem with radio waves is they transmit data slowly and the signal can often be blocked by let’s say, a microwave oven in your kitchen or the walls in your house. Challenged by this problem, scientists from the University of Edinburg in Scotland led by Prof. Harald Haas have developed a faster method of wireless communication that uses light from LED bulbs instead of radio waves. Aptly called LiFi, as coined by Prof. Haas, LiFi utilises Visible Light Communication or VLC technology that allows internet connectivity using a special LED that can transmit data just like a wifi adapter. Listed as one of Time Magazine’s 50 Best Inventions of 2011, VLC technology works by attaching an Ethernet-wired device to a LED light. Instead of beaming data through the air, the data is sent via light from the LED. The LiFi signal, which looks like ordinary light, is picked up by a receiver and can instantly provide internet connectivity. PureLiFi, the startup behind LiFi technology has recently raised $2 million in a new round of funding led by London & Scottish Investment Partners, with additional funding from the Scottish Investment Bank and Old College Capital, the venture investment arm of the University of Edinburgh. You can read about the funding here.