Professor Harald Haas with a light transmitter and receiver in his lab at Edinburgh University. Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the Observer

Li-Fi, a super-fast alternative to Wi-Fi, has been proven capable of sending data at up to 1GBps in real-world tests.

At that speed, 100-times faster than current Wi-Fi technologies, a high-definition film could be downloaded in a matter of seconds.

In a pilot scheme carried of by Estonian start-up Velmenni, the technology was trialled in offices and industrial environments in Tallinn.

Li-Fi uses light to beam information through the air. Writing about the technology earlier this year, the Telegraph’s Sophie Curtis said: “Light is already used to transmit data across fibre optic networks at high speed. These work by guiding the light along optical fibres using total internal reflection, so that no information is lost along the way.”

“However, transmitting information by beaming light through the air is more difficult, because there is no ‘light tunnel’ to guide the signal to where it needs to go.”

Velmenni CEO Deepak Solanki told IBTimes UK: “We are doing a few pilot projects within different industries where we can utilise the VLC (visible light communication) technology. Currently we have designed a smart lighting solution for an industrial environment where the data communication is done through light. We are also doing a pilot project with a private client where we are setting up a Li-Fi network to access the internet in their office space.”

The Vemenni bulb, using Li-Fi to transfer high speed data using light.  Photo: Velmenni
The Vemenni bulb, using Li-Fi to transfer high speed data using light. Photo: Velmenni

Li-Fi technology was originated in 2011 by Professor Harald Haas of the University of Edinburgh, who demonstrated that, with a flickering light from a single LED, he could transmit more data than a cellular tower.

Professor Haas, delivered a TED talk about his technology in 2011, which has attracted more than 1.7 million views on Youtube.

The technology has been trialled by airlines, which want to use it to provide better in-flight connectivity, and intelligence agencies, which are interested in the potential of LiFi for secure wireless data transfers.

(The Telegraph)