The US military has signed a contract with pureLifi, under which the Scottish company will provide the army with thousands of Li-Fi devices. The military will use the devices to send data within ‘tactical and strategic environments’.
PureLiFi will provide the military with Kitefin devices, which consist of Tactical LiFi Access Points for rapid deployment in difficult environments and Office LiFi Access Points for office environments. The Tactical variant is ruggedized and waterproof. This uses one cable for both power and data and is hung with two hooks. The office variant is intended for more permanent situations. The LiFi signals can be picked up with pureLiFi’s LiFi-XC dongle. This USB dongle supports Windows 7, 10, Linux and macOS and both upload and download speeds of up to 42Mbit/s.
PureLiFi does not report how many Kitefin devices will be delivered, only that it is “thousands”. These are supplied to the European and African branches of the US military. PureLiFi claims it is the first large-scale deployment of Li-Fi devices and says it follows on from a pilot with the US military that started in 2019. The first Kitefin devices will be delivered this spring and as part of the contract, the military is investing about 4.84 million euros in pureLiFi.
The military will mainly use the LiFi devices to replace radio wave connections such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, says pureLiFi. The advantage of LIFI would be that it is more difficult to detect and capture than radio wave signals. The Kitefin LiFi devices only send the LiFi signals into certain cones and would be undetectable outside them. In addition, the Tactical Kitefin devices are easier and faster to move than WiFi and Bluetooth devices, claims pureLiFi.