How pureLiFi is redefining technology

One of Scotland's most promising tech firms is blazing a trail globally with a new method of wireless communication that will change how we access the internet.

Think faster communications

Think of a world where every light could connect you to the internet. The lights that illuminate our offices, homes, cars and streets connecting us to high-speed, secure data – and to each other. This is what LiFi does.

The term LiFi, or light fidelity, was coined by pureLiFi co-founder Professor Harald Haas when he demonstrated LiFi for the first time at a TED Global talk in 2011. 

Since the LiFi TED Global talk, wireless communications industries have started to realise they're facing a real challenge.

The world is consuming 60% more wireless data every year. Radio frequencies used for technologies such as WiFi cannot sustain this level of growth. 

We're quickly facing a spectrum crunch. LiFi can open 1,000 times more spectrum, and help not only alleviate the crunch, but unleash unprecedented data and bandwidth. 

Professor Harald Haas, pureLiFi co-founder

How does LiFi work?

LiFi is bidirectional, full duplex (data can transmitted in two directions at the same time) and fully networked wireless communications using LED lights. It repurposes the same light we use to illuminate our homes, offices and streets to provide high-speed, secure wireless communications. 

With LiFi, data is transmitted by altering the intensity of the light, which is then received by a photo-sensitive detector, and the light signal is transformed into digital form. Data is then transmitted back to the access point in the ceiling, allowing for fast, full-duplex communications. 

Additional benefits of LiFi technology

A supportive environment in Scotland 

As a university spin-out, pureLiFi has found that the innovative research and development taking place at Scottish universities, including the University of Edinburgh, Strathclyde, Herriot Watt, St Andrews, and Glasgow, provides them with the expertise that they need. 

According to pureLiFi’s CEO, Alistair Banham, "LiFi could introduce a new paradigm in the battle to find new bandwidth to cope with rising numbers of devices that connect wirelessly to the internet."

Alistair Banham, CEO, pureLiFI

"LiFi is a technology that will create new markets and merge two huge industries – lighting and communications. This will result not only in new far-reaching commercial opportunities, but also enhance the way we live in this mobile and wireless world."

Alistair Banham, CEO, pureLiFi

Access to markets 

"SDI has provided invaluable assistance, helping us to access new opportunities such as events like Mobile World Congress and new contacts beyond our borders,” Alistair added.

pureLiFi has since teamed up with communications and lighting leaders to form a global association called the Light Communications Alliance (LCA). The LCA will work on developing and refining the key use cases and deployment applications, as well as advocate the use of standards for this emerging industry.

Find out more about Scotland's innovative ecosystem

pureLiFi graphic illustration

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