PureLiFi secures wireless deal with US Army
Pure Li-Fi uses light to transmit data
An Edinburgh tech company has secured a deal with the US military which is described as the first large-scale deployment of li-fi communication technology.
PureLiFi, a spin-out from Edinburgh University in 2012, is behind ultrafast wireless technology that uses light rather than radio frequencies to transmit data.
An initial $4.2 million (£3m) order will see thousands of the Scottish firm’s Kitefin units delivered to the United States Army Europe and Africa (USAREUR-AF) to be used in tactical and strategic environments.
This will enable wireless communications with superior security compared to conventional technologies such as cellular, wifi and Bluetooth.
By removing the need to use radio frequencies (RF), which can be detected and targeted kinetically and electronically, li-fi should increase the reliability and security of wireless communications as it emits a negligible electromagnetic signature.
It is pureLiFi’s biggest order to date, and chief executive Alistair Banham said further follow-on orders are expected.
He described at as a “transition” point for the company, as many of today’s common consumer technologies were adopted and evaluated in the first instance by the defence sector.
“This largest real-world deployment of LiFi with the US Army Europe and Africa is a testament to the benefits that LiFi can offer and the technology’s usability,” he said.
“If one of the most significant and advanced Defense organisations in the world can rely on LiFi for the most critical of communications, LiFi can offer unprecedented benefits to the consumer.
“LiFi, like so many technologies before it, is on a classic journey of adoption in defence to wide-spread acceptance in the consumer market and eventually LiFi in everyone’s home.
“We are closer than ever to seeing consumers having LiFi in their homes and their pockets.
“This first major deployment with the US ARMY Europe and Africa is just the beginning.”
The deal comes on the back of an $18m (£13m) fundraising in November 2019, with funds provided by Singapore investment company Temasek and the Scottish Investment Bank.
Since then, PureLiFi has been working with companies across a variety of industries to integrate its technology into mobile and other devices.