PURELIFI


PureLiFi Ltd is a spinout from the School of Engineering that has pioneered Li-Fi technology, in which standard LED lighting carries wireless communications data, as an alternative to Wi-Fi. The development of super high-speed transmission using off-the-shelf LED light bulbs initially came from research led by Harald Haas, Professor of Mobile Communications in the University’s Institute of Digital Communications.

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Professor Haas received funding support from the Scottish Enterprise Proof of Concept programme (Now High Growth Spinout Programme) to build and further develop a prototype for commercialisation through the formation of a new University spinout company. Since Professor Haas delivered a TEDTalk In 2011 where he coined the phrase ‘LiFi’, interest in the technology has accelerated. Professor Haas co-founded the company pureVLC (now pureLiFi), with Research Assistant Dr Mostafa Afgani.

This ground-breaking technology allows LED light to modulate at a rate so fast as to be imperceptible to the human eye, with the modulation transmitting data that can be picked up by receivers, such as suitably configured smart-phone cameras, at speeds of hundreds of megabits per second.

Data carried by light

Configuring a light source, such as a simple household LED bulb, with pureLiFi’s technology creates a localised data communications centre capable of carrying data, not just in a single data stream, but thousands of data streams in parallel at high speed. It can be used in intrinsically safe environments – petrochemical plants, hospitals, aircraft and elsewhere – where the use of radio frequency Wi-Fi can have restrictions.

The spinout company is now managed by three University of Edinburgh alumni: Dr Harald Burchardt, Dr Nikola Serafimovski and Dr Mostafa Afgani.

To date the company has produced three iterations of the LiFi product. The current iteration LiFi-X offers the fastest, smallest and most secure LiFi system on the market.

Professor Haas remains Chief Scientific Officer of pureLiFi. He has also continued his world-leading research at the University’s LiFi centre, which is dedicated to accelerating the development of Li-Fi as a major global industry, through creating a pipeline for innovative ideas, technologies, products and partnerships.

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