Scientists at Fudan University have successfully transmitted data via "li-fi" at speeds up to 150 Mbps, reports Xinhua News. Li-fi, or "light fidelity", is a theorized way to stream data via LED lighting instead of Wi-Fi. Although still under investigation, the technology could be used in high-speed, visible-path transmission applications. The scientists are scheduled to demonstrate a set of example li-fi kits at the China International Industry Fair on Nov. 5 in Shanghai.
Li-fi was first demonstrated by University of Edinburgh professor Harald Haas in the UK. At an Aug. 2011 TED Talk, Haas displayed a li-fi device transmitting at 10 Mbps, asserting that the technology could hypothetically exceed 1 Gbps. The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute confirmed this claim earlier this year, according to the BBC.
The technology relies on a fast-pulsating beam of light embedded with signal processing technology. Receiving devices would read the light pulses and translate them on a streaming basis. On-board cameras in smartphones, tablets, computers and other gadgets could be modified to double as photoreceptors.
If the technology proves viable, it could make for a cost-effective, highly efficient, high-speed networking medium. Due to the fact that it relies on direct light, its use as a secure data line could be useful in privacy-dependent scenarios. The Fudan University scientists have supplied no photographic or video evidence of their tests, but the Nov. 5 demonstration could provide some much anticipated verification.