Light offers almost unlimited capacity for wireless communication
Existing WiFi systems have their limitations. They can be very slow; they’re not very secure; and we’re about to run out of capacity! However, help is at hand. Faster, more reliable internet connections are already under development. Now, the opening of a new research centre at the University of Edinburgh will bring them a step closer to reality.
The new generation of high-speed internet technology the scientists have been working on uses light rather than radio waves. Known as LiFi, it’s more secure, versatile and is likely to be the successor to the latest 4G wireless internet systems which only became available in the UK last year. The reason is that light-based systems have almost no limitations when it comes to capacity. It would also connections in places where you can’t use WiFi, such as aircraft cabins and hospitals.
The new LiFi R&D Centre in Edinburgh will encourage collaboration between world-leading experts from the University and other key research institutes around the world. A key player in the new centre will be Professor Harald Haas, who is widely recognised as the “father of LiFi.” Professor Haas is Chair of Mobile Communications at the University of Edinburgh and co-founder of a spin-out company, pureLiFi. Today, he’s in Seoul, South Korea, to speaks at the Global Leaders Forum 2013. He’ll outline the objectives of the new centre and use the event to highlight the new technology and identify new industrial partners.
“This internationally leading UK centre,” he explained, “will accelerate the adoption of LiFi and emerging wireless technology through engagement with major industrial partners, to fully harness the commercial and innovative potential of LiFi, and establish a major new $6 billion LiFi industry.”
In this, he’s supported by Professor Lesley Yellowlees, Head of the University of Edinburgh’s College of Science and Engineering. “The University of Edinburgh has a strong track record in communications research and providing industry solutions to this sector” he said. “This new R&D centre in Edinburgh is a unique opportunity for the UK to lead the global development of Li-Fi technology.”