A CLASSROOM at a comprehensive school in Germany has become the first in the world to connect to the internet using visible light.
Pupils in the space – at the Hegel-Gymnasium in Stuttgart – uses modulated light from the LED luminaires to receive data to their devices, an emerging technology known as Li-Fi.
Wi-Fi, by contrast, delivers data via radio waves.
The installation is a trial by the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute to explore the practicality of Li-Fi in educational applications. It’s funded by the City of Stuttgart as part of a wider €500,000 upgrade of the IT system at the 700-pupil co-educational school.
The sector is seen as a possible early adopter of the technology as it is perceived as more benign than Wi-Fi. Earlier this year the French government has moved to outlaw Wi-Fi in nurseries, schools and childcare centres that cater for children under six.
France is also the location of the first office in the world with the internet supplied using lighting. Employees at the Paris headquarters of Sogeprom, the property arm of French bank Société Générale, use a special dongle inserted into their computers and other devices to communicate with the internet via visible light from the LED lighting. The dongle features an infra-red back channel for uploading.
Li-Fi is increasingly been taken seriously by the tech sector, as the concept has been proved in a number of installations, many in the defence, security and diplomatic fields. It also holds out a possible solution to the looming ‘spectrum crunch’ when current bandwidth reaches its physical limits.
At next month’s LuxLive exhibition in London, the Li-Fi is unveiling a host of off-the-shelf products. The innovations come from the top three firms, PureLiFi, Linmore and Lucibel, and include certified Li-Fi drivers and Li-Fi-enabled battens and downlights.
- See the world debut of a range of Li-Fi fittings in the Li-Fi Experience zone at LuxLive 2017. LuxLive 2017 takes place at ExCeL London on Wednesday 15 November and Thursday 16 November. Entry is free if you pre-register HERE.