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.