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Optoelectronics & Communications

Harald Haas: LiFi: Transforming Fibre into Wireless

A plenary talk from SPIE Photonics West 2017

14 February 2017, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201702.12

Harald Haas of University of Edinburgh (UK) and pureLiFi Ltd. (UK)In this plenary session, Harald Haas of University of Edinburgh and pureLiFi Ltd, starts by clarifying the differences between visible light communications (VLC) and LiFi. This is followed by the introduction of the key building blocks required to create full LiFi networks. Next he reports recent key achievements with respect to component and demonstrator developments underpinning LiFi attocell networks. In this context, this talk showcases how off-the-shelf solar panels can fulfill two functions at the same time: i) energy harvesting and ii) LiFi data detection. Haas provides modelling results of LiFi attocell networks and address numerous misconceptions such as "LiFi is a line-of-sight technology" or "LiFi does not work when there is strong sunlight."

This talk also addresses the issue of energy efficiency and co-channel interference when there are multiple lght sources sending independent data, and closes by summarizing commercialization challenges.

Harald Haas currently holds the Chair of Mobile Communications at the University of Edinburgh, and is founder and Chief Scientific Officer of pureLiFi Ltd as well as the Director of the LiFi Research and Development Center at the University of Edinburgh. His main research interests are in optical wireless communications, hybrid optical wireless and RF communications, spatial modulation, and interference coordination in wireless networks.

He first introduced and coined spatial modulation and LiFi. LiFi was listed among the 50 best inventions in TIME Magazine 2011. Prof. Haas was an invited speaker at TED Global2011, and his talk: "Wireless Data from Every Light Bulb" has been watched online more than 2.4 million times. He gave a second TED Global lecture in 2015 on the use of solar cells as LiFi data detectors and energy harvesters. This has been viewed online more than 1.6 million times.