The evolution of LiFi

Li-Fi, which stands for Light Fidelity, is a wireless communication technology that uses light signals instead of radio waves to transmit data. It offers higher data transfer rates and greater security than traditional Wi-Fi.

Introduced as a term in 2011 by Harald Haas, at the time, the Li-Fi market was still in its early stages, with several companies and research institutes beginning to actively explore and develop the technology. Over time, research institutes and universities across Europe conducted studies and experiments to investigate the potential applications and benefits of LiFi technology in order to improve the performance, reliability and scalability of solutions.

 

 

It is important to note that the LiFi market is influenced by various factors, including technological advances, regulatory frameworks, infrastructure requirements and market demand. Some industry studies, such as the one by Yole Développement and Piseo, estimate the value of the Li-Fi market to be around $1.1 billion in 2023. Certainly, the market is experiencing significant growth beginning in 2021, with CAGR of 53% between 2021 and 2023. Industry, healthcare, defence, hospitality, retail, education, construction will account for 80% of the projected sales volume in 2023. Technology and volume integration will enable strong cost reductions, which will fuel market growth of $15 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 51% from 2022 to 2030 (Source: https://www.precedenceresearch.com/li-fi-market).

 

Obstacles and growth prospects

Yole and Piseo consider LiFi to be a technology with high potential, but there are two factors that could impede its rapid development in the short and medium term: standardization, on which there have been recent important developments, and the development of products and services incorporating Li-Fi technology.

In this context, as To Be, we have succeeded in becoming a point of reference for the global market, so much so that we represented Italy at the 'LiFi Conference' in Eindhoven, an important meeting between research and industry, which was useful for delving into the LiFi market trends, the dynamics of this ecosystem, the possible applications of this technology in environments ranging from cultural heritage to healthcare, from schools to retail, from the role of research to the role that start-ups are having in reaching the market.

 

 

To Be's case studies

Thanks to synergies with institutions and the corporate world, To Be has been the first to realise numerous projects in sectors such as Cultural Heritage, Health and Education. In fact, we have several very significant references to our credit in these areas, which exploit LiFi technology. Among the most important are the installations in the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, Castel del Monte, and the National Archaeological Museum of Altamura, which have enriched the experience of visitors by allowing them to receive information on the various works on display directly on their smartphones and to be guided through the exhibition thanks to LiFi's accurate geolocation system. Again, To Be brought LiFi to several Italian schools to enable students to connect to the network via light in a safe, fast and sustainable manner, while at the ASL Napoli 2 Nord, the Pozzuoli, Ischia and Procida sites are the first Italian hospitals where LiFi has enabled them to improve the services available to patients, visitors, doctors and hospital staff.

 

 

Would you like to participate in the first Italian conference dedicated to LiFi scheduled for 14 September 2023 in Rome? Click here to register.

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LiFi and the IEEE 802.11bb standard: the future of connectivity

LiFi is a technology that uses light to transmit data. It’s an emerging technology, but it has the potential to revolutionize the way we connect to the Internet.

These days (July 2023) the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) approved the new IEEE 802.11bb standard for LiFi technology, which offers a number of advantages over traditional wireless networking technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

 

 

To Be Srl and the LiFi Revolution

To Be Srl is a leading LiFi company in Italy and Europe. The company was founded in 2016 by a team of young entrepreneurs and researchers, pursuing a dream and a great vision: a world where every light can transmit and receive data, this is the LiFi Revolution. To Be Srl can now boast 8 years of experience in the sector, several important references and successes achieved, some of which have become world firsts.

The advantages of LiFi

LiFi offers a number of advantages over traditional wireless networking technologies:

  • Speed: LiFi can achieve very high data rates, as the light spectrum is much wider than the radio spectrum.
  • Security: LiFi is much harder to intercept than Wi-Fi.
  • Efficiency: LiFi uses modern low-power LED light to transmit data.

 

 

Possible LiFi’s applications 

Connected light systems, visible and non-visible, are composed of different LiFi modules and devices.

To Be Srl offre una varietà di soluzioni LiFi per diversi scenari applicativi:

To Be Srl offers a variety of LiFi solutions for different application scenarios:

  • Geolocation and Indoor Navigation: through the LiFi Geolocation solution it is possible to provide a navigation service in very large indoor environments (hospitals, museums, airports, shopping centres) that allows to:
    • enable proximity information, such as promotional offers or content of cultural interest;
    • enable real navigation, as if it were a google maps for interiors, with a very accurate localisation accuracy and the possibility of calculating a route to get, for example, from the entrance of a hospital to the clinic a user is looking for;
    • improve the use of any large environment, both public and private, even for disadvantaged categories; it is in fact possible, thanks to this solution, to guide a blind person through voice commands or indicate the best route to follow to a person with disabilities, avoiding the risk of running into architectural barriers.
  • Corporate and institutional Internet: through the LiFi Streaming solution, it’s possible to connect one or more PCs or tablets to the network wirelessly, without the risk of interference or hacker attacks (offices, meeting rooms, schools, healthcare and defence environments)
  • Point-to-point communications: the LiFi Point-to-Point solution allows two points (buildings, objects, machinery) to be connected up to 300 metres apart, with the possibility of creating more extensive multipoint networks (Industry 4.0, museums, defence).

These solutions are applicable and respond effectively to different needs and issues such as real-time data transmission, intelligent infrastructure, security and surveillance, entertainment and proximity marketing.

 

 

Some LiFi Projects 

  • Pompeii Archaeological Park: To Be Srl installed a LiFi system in the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, which allows visitors to have access to multimedia proximity content depending on their location. To date, the LiFi Geolocation solution has also been implemented at Castel del Monte, the MArTA Archaeological Museum in Taranto, the National Archaeological Museum in Altamura, the Cambellotti Museum in Latina, the Barracco Museum in Rome, and the Musei del Sac - Puglia.
  • ASL NA 2 NORD: To Be Srl has implemented a LiFi system in some hospitals of the ASL NA 2 NORD, which enables fast and sustainable web surfing while accessing health services in a safe and comfortable way.
  • Istituto Superiore "Costanza Varano" in Camerino: To Be Srl implemented some LiFi Streaming stations in the school's computer and chemistry laboratories in order to provide fast, secure and RF-free connectivity. To date, the LiFi Streaming solution has been implemented in several schools nationwide: Rome, Camerino, Macerata, Pollenza and San Severino Marche.

The future of LiFi

LiFi is no longer the future, but the present. Its revolutionary potential will change the way we can connect to the Internet. The IEEE 802.11bb standard is an important step in the development of LiFi technology, it will make this technology more accessible and more popular. LiFi represents one of the paradigms of 6G and is in fact a forerunner of it: the sixth generation of connectivity will, in fact, embrace the Thz frequencies of light by developing new networks capable of supporting the ever-increasing demand for data traffic.


IT technologies between physical and digital: LiFi and Surroundings

To support the necessary level of computerisation, digitisation and automation required by modern working environments, it’s indispensable to have smart technologies ready to support current and future operational challenges, such as the new application frontier that allows data to be transmitted through light: LiFi.

 

Panduit, Lainate (MI) – Competing with industry experts such as Panduit, a leader in infrastructure products and services for data networks and power applications, and Signify, a world leader in lighting for which we are a Certified System Integrator (Euronext: LIGHT), is always a source of opportunity and growth for a young innovative SME like ours. The participation of our CEO Francesco Paolo Russo, as Special Guest, allowed us to analyse from many points of view that phenomenon of ‘dematerialisation’ that in the last thirty years has led to a new dialogue between physical and digital in many workplaces, and above all to recount the many innovative aspects of LiFi technology.

Together with Gian Piero De Martino, Electrical and Network Infrastructure Business Unit Manager Panduit and Daniele Tordin, Technical System Engineer Panduit, we saw how, behind every delicate product and service, there is always an infrastructure with all its elements, often hidden, but not unimportant. The physical network makes possible a variety of applications that have become indispensable for everyone, such as communications, security, information and data transmission, environmental management, audio-video and lighting.

And how does LiFi fit into this picture? It’s simple: the evolution of transmission methods and media has not stopped at the sending of electrical signals through copper cables alone, but has seen the use of radio/wireless transmissions, data transfer through fibre optics through to the modulation of LED light to send and receive information in data format.

LiFi (Light Fidelity), in fact, is a cutting-edge technology that enables the transmission of data and information through visible and invisible frequencies. It is able to offer numerous advantages, including greater bandwidth and a high data transmission speed that today reaches 1Gb/s, and will reach, in 2025 according to industry studies, 1 Tbit/s. In the laboratory, these speeds are already being achieved today, which commercially will only be achieved with the advent of 6G, of which LiFi is a precursor as the sixth generation of connectivity will fully embrace the Thz frequencies of light.

This technology, using light and not emitting radio frequencies, can be used in sensitive and interference-hostile environments such as hospitals, aircraft and military bases. Furthermore, the use of a solution that uses light to provide connectivity, which by its very nature is confined within the limits of space and cannot overcome physical barriers, provides greater protection from potential hacker attacks from outside, making the transmission of information and data fast and secure. Another important feature of LiFi is its accuracy in terms of geolocalisation. It is possible to detect the position of a device, and therefore also of a user, with a margin of error of a few centimetres. This is a benchmark for the sector, especially considering that the most widely used technology for localisation to date is Bluetooth, which has error margins in the order of a metre.

Starting from this potential of LiFi, in To Be we have been carrying out intensive work on evangelising the technology for some years now in areas ranging from Healthcare to Education, from Cultural Heritage to Defence, and we have come to develop three application solutions: LiFi Geolocation, an indoor geolocation system that uses LED light modulation to define a user’s position extremely accurately, managing to enable, among other things, indoor navigation experiences; LiFi Streaming, a system for a two-way wireless connection to the PC and/or tablet network that is fast, secure and sustainable; LiFi Point To Point, a point-to-point communication system capable of providing wireless connectivity even over long distances, which can be used both indoors and outdoors.

To date, we have several very significant LiFi projects to our credit in different areas. Among the most important are the installations inside the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, Castel del Monte, the MArTA Museum in Taranto, the National Archaeological Museum in Altamura and the entire circuit of the Sac Museums, which have enriched visitors’ experience by allowing them to receive information on the various works on display directly on their smartphones through the LiFi Art App and to be guided through the exhibition thanks to LiFi’s accurate geolocation system.

In several Italian schools between Lazio and Marche, we brought LiFi to enable students to connect to the network via light in a secure, fast and sustainable manner, while at ASL Napoli 2 Nord, the hospitals of Pozzuoli, Ischia and Procida are the first Italian health facilities where LiFi has enabled improved services for patients, visitors, doctors and hospital staff.

Would you like to get in touch with us and find out more about our LiFi solutions? Write to us at info@tobe-srl.it  and we will send you in-depth material.


Li-Fi technology

With To Be Srl Data Travels at the Speed of Light

To Be designs, develops and sells Li-Fi solutions. Li-Fi, which stands for Light Fidelity, is an innovative technology for data transmission through LED light. Light is a wave, and, like radio waves and electromagnetic waves, which are also used for data transmission, can become a channel for receiving and transmitting information if modulated.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/IaUjwyvTQAo

Thanks to the implementation of an electronic feature between the power supply and light, Li-Fi is not only able to illuminate bodies, but also to transmit binary codes through on and off commutation that is so fast that it is not detected by the human eye. Different devices (smartphone, tablet and laptop) are able to read the signal from the light source and elaborate it into information.

 

Li-Fi connection has several benefits. First of all, with Li-Fi, it is possible to reach a speed comparable to 5G. Secondly, Li-Fi is free from band saturation issues. Thirdly, this technology can geolocate a user even where there is no GPS signal, and with extreme accuracy. Then, it allows access to analytic data on how users experienced a service or product thanks to geolocation. Li-Fi also guarantees energy saving and electromagnetic pollution reduction, thus it is considered to be a green technology. Finally, it is a system that prevents potential interceptions and external hacker attacks, therefore it is considered to be an international standardized protocol of maximum cybersecurity that can be implemented in telecommunications worldwide.