Published on December 20, 2013 12:58 PM

Li-Fi Smartphone to be Presented at CES 2014

Data travelling on a wave of light

Largely unknown to the masses, Li-Fi technology has been steadily gaining ground. Its high theoretical speeds were already revealed to the public this autumn, but now a full-on Li-Fi smartphone prototype will be unveiled this winter.

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Li-Fi (Light Fidelity) is a communication technology that transfers information wirelessly via light rays radiated by light-emitting diodes. A couple of months ago British and Chinese researchers demonstrated its capability of reaching 150 Mbps transfer speeds; though hailed by many for the high-speed performance, Li-Fi also received criticism for what appeared to be its numerous limitations.

But it appears the technology has come much further than expected, as French firms SunPartner Technologies and Oledcomm have announced a Li-Fi smartphone prototype to be presented at CES Las Vegas from 7 to 10 January.

Designed in partnership between the two firms, the prototype is the fruit of two separate technologies. It has the incoming and outgoing Li-Fi connectivity courtesy of Oledcomm, but it also uses SunPartner's Wysips CONNECT, a technique that converts light waves into usable energy, making the phone capable of receiving and decoding signals without drawing on its battery.

The prospect of transferring data while generating energy makes the technology all the more alluring, and we expect it to create some buzz next month. Now the only question is, will it gain the backing it needs?