A new EU consortium of businesses and academia partners announced the three-year project ELIoT (Enhance Lighting for the Internet of Things) aimed at developing mass market Internet of Things solutions using LiFi, a next generation wireless communications network, travelling over light instead of radio waves.
With LiFi, the ELIoT consortium will explore a networked wireless communication technology operating in the previously unused light spectrum, besides Wi-Fi and cellular radio.
As such, LiFi has many use cases for commercial, industrial or outdoor applications. It could function well in environments where certain radio frequencies are not possible or allowed. For outdoor usage, it could offer high bandwidth point-to-point links from rooftops, between streetlights or to consumers’ homes for next generation networks. Higher network demands might come from software-controlled production, virtual and augmented reality and autonomous driving where LiFi could prove useful.
ELIoT started in 2019 as a project funded by EUs biggest research and innovation program, Horizon 2020. This program promises more breakthroughs by taking great ideas from the lab into the market. ELIoT receives €6 million funding from the public-private partnership Photonics21 and is formed by the partners Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), Nokia, MaxLinear, Deutsche Telekom, KPN, Weidmüller, LightBee, the University of Oxford, Eindhoven University of Technology and the two Fraunhofer Institutes Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI and FOKUS. Even more companies will shortly be added as associated partners.
"With ELIoT, we have established a powerful consortium of companies and organizations from the European lighting and communications industries," said Dr. Volker Jungnickel (Fraunhofer HHI) who serves as project coordinator. "ELIoT forms a closed value chain with partners representing the components, chipsets, systems and applications sectors and research institutes, working together on the commercialization of LiFi for the future IoT."
"LiFi can deliver high-speed communication, interference-free with high reliability," said Prof. Jean-Paul Linnartz, co-initiator of ELIoT and also leading Signify’s research in LiFi. "The available spectrum can be fully reused in every room. The lighting infrastructure is in an excellent position to provide wireless connectivity for the rapidly increasing number of wireless devices in every room."