Edinburgh firm behind 'game-changing' light-transmitting tech secures major US deal

PureLiFi, the Edinburgh-based firm behind revolutionary technology that uses light to transmit data, will see its systems deployed on US navy and coast guard vessels after the signing of a new agreement that expands its reach in the world’s most lucrative defence market.

The three-year deal sees Fairbanks Morse Defense (FMD) become the exclusive reseller of the Scots company’s technology and products to FM OnBoard maritime defence customers in the US. “LiFi” is a mobile wireless technology that uses light rather than radio frequencies to transmit data. By harnessing the light spectrum, it is said to provide more reliable wireless communications with “unparalleled security”, compared to conventional technologies such as cellular, wi-fi and Bluetooth. The company’s Kitefin LiFi system is designed specifically for use in the defence industry.

Alistair Banham, chief executive of PureLiFi, said: “Fairbanks Morse Defense is quickly becoming known for its best-in-class maritime defence technology solutions, and we consider this to be an ideal collaboration for expanding our presence in the US. Our collaboration with FMD represents a significant step towards expanding LiFi technology beyond PureLiFi’s large scale land-based deployments. We look forward to working with FMD to deliver this game-changing LiFi technology to maritime defence customers.”

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Prior to the agreement, the two firms worked together through the FM Defense Accelerator. The companies have been leveraging LiFi and FMD’s resources to co-develop and evaluate maritime use cases for LiFi technology.

George Whittier, chief executive of Fairbanks Morse Defense, added: “The ability to have secure connectivity while at sea is a mission-critical capability for our maritime defence customers. PureLiFi’s technology pairs perfectly with FM OnBoard, enabling technicians to securely communicate from the engine room with live, remote technicians who can help troubleshoot any issues.”

Last July, PureLiFi said it would target a global roll out after securing £10 million backing from the Scottish National Investment Bank. The investment was said to align with the Bank’s mission to invest in innovation and industries of the future, while creating high value jobs. The cash injection will enable the firm to further develop new technologies while opening up additional markets in areas such as mobile phones, tablets, wearables and other connected devices.

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