Professor, Former Grad Student Market ‘LiFi’ – LED-Based Data Network
Let there be light. And let there be information.
A University of Virginia engineering professor and her former graduate student have refined an alternative to Wi-Fi, and they have formed a company to market the concept. The technology is called “LiFi,” because it uses LED light waves to transmit data.
Maite Brandt-Pearce, a professor in the Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mohammad Noshad, her former Ph.D. student, have teamed with entrepreneur Fraidoon Hovaizi to create VLNComm LLC. The company employs nine and has a facility in the Pantops area of Albemarle County, east of Charlottesville.
Read more: https://news.virginia.edu/content/professor-former-grad-student-market-li-fi-led-based-data-network
Bloomberg Business Week: Meet LiFi: Internet Using LED Light Waves
Wi-Fi networks dependent on radio waves are growing more congested all the time—and can’t be used everywhere—so various researchers and companies are betting light waves from LED lamps and overheads can also stream data and connect people to the internet. So-called LiFi technology, which uses a much more abundant slice of the wireless spectrum, is also more energy-efficient than Wi-Fi, though for now people need a special USB drive to use it. Light waves can’t pass through walls like radio waves do, but that also makes the networks more secure. A group from the world’s largest technical association, IEEE, will have draft standards for LiFi ready by yearend for companies that want to commercialize the technology, says its chairman, Bob Heile.
UVA Researchers to Provide Faster Data Through LED Light
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (NEWSPLEX) — Wireless Internet is about to be looked at in a whole new light. One professor and a few PhD students at the University of Virginia are designing a way to use light waves to get data faster.
Wi-Fi uses radio waves to transfer data to devices like smart phones and computers. This new system would use a mechanism through a light emitting diode, or LED, to send light waves that would transfer data.
It would ‘pulse’ quickly to send the data, something that would be invisible to the human eye.
It is all starting with a prototype desk lamp that would provide an internet connection. The system would provide an Internet connection for every user individually.
Maite Brand-Pearce is an electrical engineering professor at UVa and has been working on the project with some PhD students toward getting a product that is more powerful and can be used in large rooms with multiple people.
“This light that’s on top of me is providing me data but the light that’s on top of you is providing you data,” said Brand-Pearce. “So we don’t compete. So while Wi-Fi is here in this building, I share it with ten offices. I’m constantly competing for bandwidth.”
The new light could be used in airplanes where Internet connection is unavailable with the overhead lamp. It could also be used in hospitals where Wi-Fi is not permitted.
The technology may one day be designed for large stadiums where there is competition between users.
New Networking Technology Developed at VLNComm – NBC News
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (NBC29) – There’s new breakthrough Internet technology in town using light to connect to the Internet. A team from the University of Virginia is using light bulbs to access the Internet as a more secure alternative to WiFi.
It’s incredible to even consider that the same LED light bulb that brightens your desk could provide you with faster and safer Internet access but this team believes that within five years the technology could be everywhere.
VLNComm is a new business in Charlottesville. The name stands for Visible Light Network Communications, meaning they will be able to transmit Internet through light bulbs.
“Just imagine a world when we have 14-billion light bulbs, which are already there, when we can turn them into a device for communication,” said Fraidoon Hovaizi, a co-founder of VLNComm. “This has worldwide implications, and that can bring a safer and greener world to Americans and to the rest of the world.”
Hovaizi co-founded the business last year with UVA grad Mohammad Noshad and they consult with Noshad’s former professor, Maite Brandt-Pearce. Together they’re working on a prototype desk lamp with an LED bulb that can provide Internet access.
They say Internet by light will be safer than WiFi because people outside the room with the lights won’t be able to access the network.
“The signals are lights and it cannot pass through the walls, but in WiFi security is a major concern,” said Noshad
This makes it appealing to government and military groups. They say it will also be highly accessible especially in large places like airports with a lot of lights in place.
There are other companies working to develop this technology around the world but VLNComm believes it has the strongest computer coding that allows electronic devices to access the Internet through light.