Getac first to bring LiFi to mobile computing market.

Getac is now working closely with selected strategic customers to commercialise new solution based on specific industry applications and requirements.

Getac, a leader in rugged computing solutions, has announced that it is bringing integrated LiFi technology powered by pureLiFi to the rugged market for the first time. The announcement means customers across a wide range of professional sectors will soon be able to enjoy the benefits of fully rugged reliability and innovative LiFi connectivity in a single device, unlocking a host of powerful new applications and use cases.

Previously, users wishing to capitalise on the benefits of LiFi technology had to rely on a USB dongle plugged into the side of their device. This approach is highly vulnerable to even the slightest knock or drop, making it unviable in many working environments, such as those found in the defence, public safety, automotive, energy and manufacturing sectors. With this announcement, users across these sectors will be able to purchase a fully rugged solution with LiFi technology fully integrated into the device. The first Getac device to offer integrated LiFi capability will be the recently launched UX10 fully rugged tablet.

Unlocking powerful new applications across a range of sectors

The combination of rugged reliability and LiFi connectivity unlocks a series of powerful new applications across a range of sectors. These include:

Defence: Inherently secure, fully rugged communications solutions that can be rapidly deployed in the field, thanks to minimal cabling requirements.

Public safety: Lightning fast on-scene data collection and transmission in emergency response scenarios, aided by high quality, low latency LiFi connectivity.

Automotive: Fast, uninterrupteddata downloads for upgrading vehicle firmware in highly physical factory or workshop environments.

Manufacturing and energy: LiFi can help turn old infrastructure into IoT (Internet of Things), aiding digital transformation in areas where there are concerns over RF-based equipment interfering with safety-critical operations.

“At Getac, we work with a huge range of customers across multiple sectors, many of whom have very specific technology requirements and challenges,” says Rick Hwang President of Rugged & Video Solutions Business Group at Getac. “Today’s announcement once again demonstrates our commitment to solving these challenges by combining powerful new technologies such as LiFi with our proven rugged devices, to create industry leading solutions that excel in even the most adverse operational environments.”

New study lays the groundwork for using LiFi in a medical setting.

The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI is participating in the Horizon 2020 project VisIoN  (Visible light based Interoperability and Networking), a research training and doctoral program sponsored by the European Union, which is conducted by high-ranking universities, research institutions, and industrial research partners from seven countries.

The project aims to train a new generation of early-stage researchers (ESRs) in the emerging field of Visible-Light Communication (VLC), also called LiFi. As part of the project, the research team of the Photonic Networks and Systems department at Fraunhofer HHI took a pioneering role and tested LiFi for the first time in intensive care medicine.

Modern hospitals and operating theatres rely on a variety of intelligent, networked – and, as far as possible, wireless – devices. However, when medical devices are networked with WiFi, interference and loss of connection, e.g. from neighboring rooms, could occur. Similarly, sensitive medical measuring equipment could be affected by radio waves. Wireless data transmission via LiFi, on the other hand, uses modulated LED light. This allows identical LiFi systems in adjacent rooms to transmit data without interference.

Furthermore, there is no influence from electromagnetic interference, making LiFi an optimal complement to WiFi or 5G in the critical area of intensive care medicine, especially in operating theatres, where the highest demands are placed on electromagnetic compatibility.

In an experimental study, a research team from Fraunhofer HHI, in cooperation with the Czech Technical University (CTU) in Prague, was able to prove these hypotheses: They set up a network with several LiFi transmitters and receivers in a neurosurgical operating theatre at the Motol University Hospital in Prague and tested various multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) techniques. In a series of tests, the LiFi system succeeded in transmitting data quickly and without signal loss at data rates of up to 600 Mbit/s, which is more than with today’s WiFi and mobile networks.

The new promising results were presented at the leading industry conference Optical Networking and Communication Conference & Exhibition OFC 2020 in San Diego and were selected for a feature article by IEEE Spectrum magazine. In the latest issue of IEEE Spectrum, Fraunhofer HHI researchers Sreelal Maravanchery Mana and Dominic Schulz explain the potential of LiFi in a medical context based on these results. Read the article “Li-Fi Scrubs Into the Operating Room ” to learn more about the research team’s experiment.

A short abstract of the paper can be viewed here  or after a short registration a preliminary version of the paper can be accessed here .

About VisIoN

VisIoN aims to train a new generation of ESRs in this emerging area and to make significant contributions to the fundamental scientific understanding and technical know-how. Fraunhofer HHI supervises two doctoral students working on analogue VLC frontend design, channel measurements and principal design of LED driver and wide FOV receiver, distributed MIMO approaches for simultaneous optical data transmission and navigation. In this way, the LiFi technology is to be further optimized and its specific advantages in new fields of application in industry and the medical sector are to be developed.

Fraunhofer HHI also leads work package “WP4” for industrial and medical applications and supervises six guest students from five other VisIoN partners: Instituto de Telecomunicaçoes (Portugal), Ozyegin Universitesi (Turkey), OSRAM GmbH (Germany), Ford Otomotiv Sanayi Anonim Sirketi (Turkey), and Ecole Centrale de Marseille (France). Other participants involved in VisIoN are: Northumbria University (Great Britain), Universidad de las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain), Ceske Vysoke Uceni Technicke v Praze (Czech Republic), and Oledcomm SAS (France).

Hospital 3.0: Schnell LiFi (an HHI Startup) and Huawei; the emergence of LiFi in hospitals.

Shi Weiliang, President of  Huawei  France, and Mario Christiani, Executive Chairman of the German start-up Schnell, a joint venture between AIPC and the Franhofer Institute, signed a framework agreement aimed at to develop Li-Fi (Light Fidelity) technology in the hospital environment, among others.

The advantage of this technology (based on LED flashes invisible to the naked eye but interpretable by a photo-detector in order to convey data) is multiple. Li-Fi cannot be hacked remotely; it benefits from low latency (less than 1 ms) and speeds reaching 100 Mbit for both upload and download; and it is similar to a ‘green’ technology, in that it would have no harmful effects on health. A major argument in the medical field.

A very useful technology to secure certain actions in a medical context. Through this partnership between Huawei and Schnell, Li-Fi could gain popularity in hospitals, and gradually emerge from its status as a niche technology. This process, still nascent, assures Sudhir Shreedharan, CEO of Schnell, has already been tested in several establishments, including one in Australia and another in Perpignan, France. It is very relevant in the operating room, explains  01Net , where its secure and tamper-proof remote communications appear crucial for certain ”  specific uses such as medical robotics, emergency communications or the transmission of very sensitive patient data  “, notes The media.

Huawei is also interested in this technology for sectors other than the hospital environment, such as the hotel industry or industry. The firm would also like, in the long term, to use it in addition to its 5G and is now working on a way to even more effectively tune optical fiber and Li-Fi.

As  Le Monde Informatique points out , Li-Fi is not a proprietary technology from Hauwei or Schnell, quite the contrary. French players also operate Li-Fi, such as Lucibel (which is currently testing it at the Stell hospital in Rueil-Malmaison), or even Oledcomm. The latter capitalizes on Li-Fi through its LiFiCare range, also intended for the medical world, explains the French specialized site. It remains to be seen whether the agreement signed between Huawei and Schnell will encourage other telecom equipment manufacturers to turn to French Li-Fi players. Nothing is played, but the thing is not to be excluded.

The formation of the Light Communications Alliance (LCA).

Global leaders in the communications, lighting, infrastructure and device manufacturing industries announce that they have formed the Light Communications Alliance (LCA) to promote new wireless technologies enabling Light Communications (LC). They will establish and advocate the use of standards for this emerging industry.

We are proud to announce the LCA. Our mission is to drive a consistent, focused approach to market education that will highlight, Light Communications, an industry projected to be worth Billions – Nikola Serafimovski, LCA Board Member

Light Communications technologies complement and enhance 5G wireless communications and other radio frequency technologies such as Wi-Fi. By utilising its greater available spectrum, light can be used to deliver larger amounts of data at faster speeds and with greater security.

The LCA is an open, non-profit association of members who aim to promote Light Communications technology with a consistent, focused and concise approach. The LCA will highlight the benefits, use cases and timelines for Light Communications adoption. The organisation will align innovative leaders across the industries that light and communications touches, defining standards for education, communication, and interoperability.

The founding members of the LCA are Nokia, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du), LEDVANCE, Liberty Global, Lucibel, Orange, pureLiFi, LiFi Research & Development Centre, Velmenni, Zero.1, CEA Leti, and Institut Mines-Télécom.

Light Communication technologies include Light Fidelity (LiFi) and Optical Camera Communications (OCC) both of which have been attracting increased attention over recent years within several industries, such as smart cities and homes, industry 4.0 and manufacturing environments, as well as retail and tourism.

Global Market Insights predicts that the LiFi market will be worth $75 billion by 2025, creating broad, far-reaching opportunities for the related industries to benefit from Visible Light Communications.

LiFi offers a fully networked, bi-directional mobile communication solution using light, which has the potential to deliver massive bandwidth and higher speeds for short-range wireless communications. It can be integrated easily alongside traditional wireless technology such as Wi-Fi and can enhance these networks with greater speeds and security. LiFi can be deployed in various environments, both professional and domestic, including smart offices, smart transport, industry 4.0 and in the smart gigabit connected home of the future.

Optical Camera Communications (OCC), has the potential to create value-added services by using the light for both broadcast communications and indoor positioning in environments such as office buildings, convention centres, and parking lots.

LC technologies can offer thousands of additional channels for secure high-speed communications. LC provides faster more reliable connections, as well as greater security because light can be contained, for example inside buildings.

The LCA is open to membership from all industries spanning both light and communications including chip manufacturers, OEMs, network operators, lighting manufacturers, and light communications innovators.


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