Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute researchers have developed a technology called "LiFi" which enables wireless data transmission with light. The technology has reached a level of maturity that allows for its use in real-life applications. The latest LiFi system has now been implemented at a vocational school in the town of Gelnhausen in the Main-Kinzig district of the State of Hesse as part of a pilot installation.
LiFi technology can be utilized as an alternative or supplement to widespread and frequently used WLAN. In that case, the optical spectrum is used to transmit data at high speeds onto mobile devices. This way conventional wireless networks are relieved and protection against unauthorized access is ensured because communication is only possible within a limited area.
The Fraunhofer HHI team will now install the LiFi system in a classroom at a vocational school in the State of Hesse to test the technology in a real-life application scenario. In this process important user experience will be gained which should serve to further improve the system. The Main-Kinzig district wants to take on a pioneering role in the evaluation of LiFi and learn about the practical advantages of the new technology compared with conventional wireless solutions. They also want to play an active role in advancing the digitization of schools.
LiFi can enable fast mobile communication with peak data rates of up to 1Gbit/s. The LiFi modules come with an USB interface and are therefore compatible with common end-user devices. "This project is an important milestone for us to demonstrate the great potential of this unique technology for mobile communication,” said Dr.-Ing. Dominic Schulz, project manager at Fraunhofer HHI. “It will also help us to further increase the degree of technological maturity."