LiFi is attracting considerable interest as an alternative or complementary technology to WiFi for specific applications.
February 21, 2019
Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) has announced that it is working with more than 30 customers in Europe, North America and Asia to pilot light fidelity (LiFi).
The company’s LiFi-enabled LED fixtures combine light with a fast broadband data connection using light waves, enabling customers to send email, securely access their company network and surf the internet through their lights. Each luminaire is equipped with a built-in modem that modulates the light at speeds imperceptible to the human eye. The light is detected by a LiFi USB access key plugged into the socket of a laptop or tablet (in the future such technology will be built into laptops and devices). The LiFi USB access key returns data to the luminaire through an infrared link.
LiFi is attracting considerable interest as an alternative or complementary technology to WiFi for specific applications and because of the increasing congestion of the radio spectrum. It offers at least 1,000 times the spectrum of WiFi.
Philips LiFi-enabled luminaires, with a broadband connection speed of 30Mb per second, provide customers with the benefit of quality, energy efficient LED light and a secure, stable and robust connectivity.
LiFi offers benefits over WiFi as it can be used in places where radio frequencies may interfere with equipment, such as in hospitals, or where WiFi signals cannot reach or are weak, such as underground. It’s also ideal for use in environments demanding high security; for example, the back office of a financial institution or government service. LiFi adds an extra layer of security as light cannot pass through solid walls and a line-of-sight to the light is needed to access the network.
Customers trialing the technology include Incubex, a managed office provider in Bangalore, India. The company has established a LiFi meeting room to enable the many start-ups and firms it serves to explore the technology.
“We’re giving our 450 plus members at our Manya Tech Park hub, and more than 3,500 members at our 10 other hubs, the opportunity to be the first to get hands-on with this new technology which is set to go places. So far, we’ve had great feedback and received lots of enquiries from our members,” said Alap Uttamchandani, founder of Incubex.
Atea, IT infrastructure company in the Nordics and Baltic region, is piloting LiFi in its office in Stavanger, Norway. The company has installed LiFi luminaires in the lobby of its building so it can demonstrate the technology and have visitors try-out the connectivity.
Telecoms company Orange is piloting the technology at its office near Paris, France, where LiFi is being tested as a complementary and alternative to other mobile communication technologies.
In Singapore, Republic Polytechnic will install LiFi in its Smart Devices Lab. It intends to give its students new learning opportunities and broaden their exposure to smart lighting technologies. The polytechnic is the first institute of higher learning in Southeast Asia to adopt LiFi.
The pilot projects underscore Signify’s commitment to developing innovations to benefit its customers and its leadership in lighting for the Internet of Things (IoT).