Li-Fi eyes opportunity as France bans Wi-Fi in schools

Benjamin Azoulay of supplier Oledcomm, who is behind the installation of Li-Fi on the Paris Metro, highlighted the new role that Li-Fi could play in French public buildings at Lux's recent Lighting for Rail conference.

The French government has moved to outlaw Wi-Fi in nurseries, schools and childcare centres that cater for children under six. The move is offering inspiration to the creators of Li-Fi, a system that uses light to provide internet access.

Wi-Fi has been banned by the French state in an attempt to protect young people from ‘possibly carcinogenic’ effects of the transmissions. 

Li-Fi, by contrast,  uses visible light from LED luminaires to transmit information and escapes the ban.

Speaking at Lux’s recent Rail Conference in Central London, Benjamin Azoulay of supplier Oledcomm, who is behind the installation of Li-Fi on the Paris Metro, highlighted the new role that Li-Fi could play in the French public buildings.

‘We will be able to develop the first bi-directional Li-Fi installation for hospitals,’ Azoulay told the conference. 

‘This will act to reduce exposure to electromagnetic pollution and bring reliable internet access to neonatal units and kindergartens where electromagnetic waves [in the Wi-Fi frequency] are currently forbidden.’

Li-Fi is currently in the early stages of development. However once completed, the installation of the technology on the Paris Metro will be its biggest success story to date. 

The Paris project is intricate and large in scale, requiring 10,000 light points to be fitted with Li-Fi technology. 

It is hoped, ultimately, that mini-Li-Fi receptors will be placed in smartphones allowing people to use their mobile phones via a wireless internet connection provided by the lighting.

Although this is still someway off, Li-Fi can currently be intercepted using a plug-in dongle that can be placed in a laptop. 

To find out more about how Li-Fi works click here