CES 2014 : Sunpartner Technologies At The Forefront Of The LiFi Revolution

LiFi is in the process of revolutionizing the transmission of data over the internet. With Wysips® Connect, Sunpartner Technologies’ solution positions the company as a key player in this transformation, along with its partner Oledcomm (Venitian Ballroom, Hall D, stand 70137). We spoke with Francis Robcis, Vice-President of Sunpartner Technologies’ Display and Mobile Products Division.

Sunpartner Technologies and Oledcomm have announced a partnership involving LiFi. What is LiFi, exactly?

Francis Robcis: Let’s start with two numbers: 6 billion dollars and 82%. 6 billion dollars refers to the global sales projected in 2018, and 82% is the projected market growth compared to 2013, for the market in LiFi, or Light Fidelity, which means communicating by light (VLC-Visible Light Communication).*

With LiFi technology, data is transmitted by visible light waves, as opposed to infrared waves used by another booming technology FSO, Free Space Optics.

LiFi has attracted the interest of several telecom and internet giants for two reasons. First, it guarantees the speed and security of transmission, which other technologies such as WiFi, Bluetooth, or Wimax can’t come close to doing. Second, our partner Oledcomm has integrated LiFi into its LED lights, which are the champions of longevity and energy savings. Because of this, these lights are the clear winners in the lighting market both in the present and in the future.

What’s the relationship between LiFi and Sunpartner Technologies’ expertise?

F.R.: The market! The applications for Wysips® technology are the same devices that have everything to gain from the LiFi revolution: smartphones, e-readers, sensors, electronic shelf labels…in short, any kind of device that has a screen!

Secondly, our game-changing technology…our transparent, photovoltaic Wysips® Crystal technology already uses light to produce electricity, and it can now use this light to transmit data as well.

How did this partnership with Oledcomm come about?

F.R.: Some clients we have in common validated our technologies, and that led us to work together. Also, the geographical proximity of our two companies means we can advance very quickly and offer combined solutions for our clients.

On January 7, 2014, Oledcomm will unveil the world’s first smartphone with Wysips® Connect at the CES tradeshow in Las Vegas, a smartphone that is both solar-powered and equipped with LiFi. Why did Sunpartner Technologies chose this kind of product?

F.R.: Oledcomm has developed a very powerful system that can modulate and demodulate data and can be rapidly integrated into mobile devices. We clearly saw that devices such as smartphone and tablets were perfect receptors for receiving information transmitted by light.

Wysips® Crystal is already used in certain prototype smartphones, and we were able to test its results with LiFi. The result was a success—not only can our component produce electricity from light, it can also function as a LiFi receiver!

What are you expecting to come from CES?

F.R.: Presenting our technologies at CES enables us to prove, in a demo with a prototype, that LiFi technology is easily accessible, ‘clean energy’, not expensive, and works with existing technology. In addition, these devices can be improved upon with new proven technologies, such as Wysips® Connect embedded in a smartphone.

As for the market, it has enormous potential because this technological revolution is happening at the same time as new regulations come into effect requiring the use of low-energy lights like LEDs, not to mention the applications for the next generation of lighting!