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LIFI VS WIFI: FASTER, SAFER AND HEALTHIER TECHNOLOGY

Interview with Juan José González, Offices & Healthcare Business Manager at Signify

We are starting the year with many new developments. Now, more than ever, our great commitment to society will be to promote the wellbeing of people and the planet from the real estate sector. We have been working since 2018 on a new housing concept that will see the light of day in 2021: HOUSES THAT CARE FOR YOU. A conscious home that places the health of people and the planet at the centre of the design.

After two years of renovation, the first project is ready in the form of a coliving in Cantabria, a unique 16th century mansion that we have given a new contemporary use. As we have been announcing since the architecture festival Open House Madrid in September 2020, the time has come for WELLNESS REAL ESTATE. We can no longer remain indifferent to the new needs of our society.

Our coliving Casa de Mareas in Cantabria, includes measures focused on improving the well-being of its occupants. In the Wellness Real Estate we take into account 10 basic pillars such as water, air, thermal comfort, movement, food, lighting, sound, the materials used, the community and the mind.

LiFi vs WiFi: faster, safer and healthier technology

Within the innovation measures that we are incorporating, we have the support of Signify Spain as an exceptional partner, whose pioneering LiFi internet connection technology has allowed us to be the first home known with this system for the coworking area of the project. On the other hand, this technology contributes to reduce electromagnetic pollution, which is another objective to help achieve greater well-being within the space.

In this post we want to shed light on this innovative technology so we interviewed Juan José González, Offices & Healthcare Business Manager at Signify.

 

  1. What is LiFi?

The LiFi system, introduced by Signify under the name Trulifi, is a wireless data transmission and reception technology via light waves, which can be integrated into Philips luminaires. These luminaires use the lighting infrastructure to provide a secure and reliable broadband connectivity network with a high speed of up to 250 Mbps, while maintaining the usual lighting quality.

 

2. What needs does it address? What is it for?

This technology enables wireless communication in areas where radio signals are scarce or non-existent, or in RF-sensitive locations where health or safety reasons do not allow wireless communications. This avoids overexposure of people to RF signals. In addition, this technology also enables secure data transmission in areas where sensitive information is handled.

 

3. If we compare it with WiFi, what can we say: is it faster? more secure?

  • Advantages of LiFi vs WiFi

This technology uses light waves to provide secure and reliable broadband connectivity. As it does not use radio signals (such as Bluetooth, WiFi, 4G/5G…) it allows wireless communication avoiding overexposure of people to radio frequency. It also makes it possible to connect in areas where it would otherwise not be possible, either because they are restricted areas or where the signal is weak. 

Another aspect to highlight is the security it offers when transmitting data. This technology has an additional layer of security because, as light cannot pass through solid walls, a device connected to the computer with a direct line of sight to the light is needed to access the network.

  • Current drawbacks LiFi vs WiFi

In order to guarantee the security of the data transmission via LiFi, it is necessary to use a device connected to the computer via USB (dongle) that allows access to the connection, communicating the device to be connected with the LiFi emitters. In this way, the possibilities of connection via this technology are reduced to the benefit of security in the transmission and reception of data, as well as speed.

 

4. Where is it being used and which sectors are using it?

One of our most recent projects is Houses That Take Care of You, a coliving that inaugurates The Sibarist in Escalante, Cantabria, where we have installed Trulifi technology to provide a secure, broadband data connection to the space while ensuring the wellbeing and health of those present by eliminating radio frequency in the connection.

Our projects also include offices such as Incubex in Bangalore (India), Orange in Paris (France) and Atea in Stavanger (Norway). In addition, this technology has also been installed in buses and work is underway with the French company Latécoère to incorporate Trulifi in aeroplanes.

These LiFi systems are well suited for use in offices, factories, transport, hospitality and public places. In general, the use of this technology is recommended for any location where wireless connectivity is poor, inaccessible or restricted.

 

5. What is needed for this technology to become widespread?

This is a nascent technology, only a couple of years old. In this period, we have already experienced a breakthrough in the connection speed supported by this technology, as well as the use of different types of visible and non-visible light for its connections.

The connectivity through the photoreceptor device (dongle) is, perhaps, an impediment to the rapid implementation of this technology, as it limits the connection possibilities.

Coworking with LiFi at Casa de Mareas

Coliving Casa de Mareas: coworking

 

6. What are the next steps for this technology? Areas of research.

LiFi technology is advancing to achieve higher connection speeds, as well as new fields of application. For example, we see a very high potential in the field of industry 4.0, where different machines and robots can communicate via LiFi for proper operation.

In this line, last August we announced a technological agreement with EDZCOM to incorporate Trulifi by Signify in industrial applications. Infrared and visible light will enable the connection of machinery, equipment and people in the manufacturing industry, freeing up saturated radio frequency lines and offering reliable, secure and high-speed connectivity.

 

7. One of our goals is to reduce electromagnetic pollution in our homes. Does LiFi help this purpose?

The wireless communication offered by LiFi uses light waves instead of radio signals, so it effectively avoids overexposure of people to radio frequency signals, reducing the electromagnetic fields of the spaces in which it is installed, as it is the lighting infrastructure that provides the connectivity network.

One of the advantages of LiFi technology focuses on providing high-speed, secure connectivity by eliminating exposure to radio frequency.

 

8. What is the future of LiFi, and how soon can this technology reach our homes?

LiFi technology, for the moment, is intended for professional applications, such as offices, industry, hospitals, public transport, banking… It is too early to talk about the incorporation of this type of connection in the home.

 

9. Can LiFi replace WiFi?

To date, LiFi technology is a complement to the use of WiFi networks, as it offers a broadband and secure connection to those areas where WiFi does not reach, where an additional layer of security is required or where a reduction of electromagnetic waves is needed for health and welfare reasons.

 

10. What are Signify Spain’s goals with its TruLifi in the coming years?

We are currently in a phase of making the technology known in the Spanish market and carrying out the first projects in real installations. Our ambition is to incorporate Trulifi by Signify in those installations where there is a need to complete the existing connectivity network or in those spaces that can evolve their connection to improve the well-being of the people who live there.

 

LiFi systems have zero radio frequency interference with other devices, making them solutions to consider for aeroplanes or hospitals.

Coworking with LiFi at Casa de Mareas

Coworking del coliving Casa de Mareas 

 

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