A new research centre at the University of Edinburgh is to pursue the development of light based networking, or Li-Fi, in a move to avert what is believed to be an impending capacity crunch.
Demand for wireless internet access from smartphone users is in danger of overloading the amount that can currently be supplied by Wi-Fi, say the researchers, who add that Li-Fi has no such limitations and could provide a solution. Using light to deliver wireless internet will also allow connectivity in environments that do not currently support Wi-Fi, such as aircraft cabins and hospitals. The Li-Fi R&D Centre will encourage collaboration between experts from the University and key research institutes around the world. A key player in the centre's work will be Harald Haas, Professor of mobile communications, also known as the 'father of Li-Fi'. Prof Haas said: "This leading UK centre will accelerate the adoption of Li-Fi and emerging wireless technology through engagement with major industrial partners, to fully harness the commercial and innovative potential of Li-Fi, and establish a major new $6billion Li-Fi industry." Researchers at the Centre are keen to identify new industrial partners and to collaborate more widely with major international electronics companies to further develop Li-Fi technology.