UAE-based technology company Zero.1 today launched Light Fidelity (LiFi) in the emirate. LiFi is a new wireless technology that transmits high-speed data using light (Visible Light Communication, or VLC) rather than radio bands.
LiFi has the potential to change the way we work, play and manage our daily lives by providing endless possibilities for the internet of things (IoT).
So how does it work? LiFi basically has the ability to emit data speeds of up to 1GB/second and the potential to hit 10GB/second. This means you can download HD movies in seconds, webpages load in the blink of an eye and a song loads at the click of a button. LiFi works by using any LED bulb and adding a microchip to it to enable the passage of this data through light. So if you’re standing under one of these lights, it’s your hotspot for the internet. You can also transmit information through LiFi. For example, if the light has been programmed to play music on a wireless music player, all you need to do is put the speaker under the light and it will start playing. Watch the video below to see how it works.
Zero.1’s research and development team have created a platform of LiFi-enabled LEDs with the Intelligent Outdoor Tower Automation (IOTA) product range, which takes traditional LED street lights and adds layers of communications. It’s claimed that IOTA will change the way public spaces and resources are managed. Together with the advanced City.1 software, it provides experiential and management solutions for public spaces, community places, industrial hubs and commercial plots.
Marc Fleschen, CEO of Zero.1, says, “We are proud to say that in conjunction with our project partner du, we have been able to initiate the first demonstration of its kind in the Middle East. Working with du we look forward to the roll-out of our LiFi applications in the Dubai Smart City platform and the retail sector as the year unfolds.
Any private or public lighting, including street lamps, can be used to provide LiFi hotspots and the same communications and sensor infrastructure can be used to monitor and control lighting and data. Android and iOS smartphones can be connected directly using LiFi. Short-range links give high data-speeds and best possible data security. LiFi-driven geolocalisation services allow users to benefit from on-the-spot location and services information.
Zero.1 supports Dubai’s Smart City vision
Zero.1 will demonstrate real-time LiFi conference hot spots and experiential activities in its Dubaitech offices.
How does Zero.1 plan to implement LiFi?
With its combination of IOTA hardware, City.1 Software and cloud services, Zero.1 aims to lead the commercialisation of the technology in the UAE and has plans to also introduce it in other GCC countries soon. Applications that will impact multiple sectors – such as street lighting, retail, healthcare, education, museums, and large public venues – are in the development stage and are planned to be launched this year.
City.1 is a management software solution that works with IOTA. The communication tool’s stated purpose is to help smart city managers get more from their infrastructure and give more to citizens. The City.1 mobile application works on iOS and Android platforms. The IOTA Street light is embedded with the Cyrus card; merged with Zero.1’s cloud platform, the city’s streetlight network becomes the centre of communication between the city, its people, businesses and services.
Zero.1 recently signed a partnership with UAE-based telecommunications service provider du. They will commercially launch applications in the country soon.