PureLifi, the University of Edinburgh spin out that is developing what it calls âLiFiâ technology, an alternative to Wi-Fi that uses modulating LED light as a way of sending data from one LiFi-equipped device to another, has raised just over Â£7 million in Series B funding. Leading the round is Singaporeâs state-owned investment firm Temasek, while the startup says the new capital will be used to begin commercialising the technology.
The LiFi technology is described as using the visible light spectrum instead of radio frequencies to deliver high-speed wireless data communication. In simple terms that means using LED light, pulsated in a way that isnât noticeable to the human eye, to send data wirelessly.
Interestingly, LiFi tech has some potential advantages over Wi-Fi networks. These include greater security due to its âline of sightâ requirements (no snooping on a network from outside a building or the other side of a wall), and being able to use existing lighting infrastructure, such as LED street lamps, to double up as LiFi access points. Higher data transfer speeds, in comparison to Wi-Fi, are also promised.
However, some of those advantages, not least the âline of sightâ requirement, are distinct disadvantages too. Any wireless technology based on light wonât work outdoors either.
With that said, PureLiFi says itâs already working with the likes of Cisco and Lucibel to provide LiFi networks. Since the startupâs Series A last year, it has completed the development and production of the LiFi-X product, the first mobile LiFi dongle.