Northumbria University, Newcastle was selected to take part in a research project investigating how light could be utilized to permit electronic devices to communicate in smart homes, cars, businesses, and factories of the future. Northumbria will serve as the only UK institution associated with the €3.75m (£3.44m) Visible Light Communications based Interoperability and Networking (VisIoN) project, which the European Commission is funding.
Dr. Mohammad-Ali Khalighi of the Ecole Centrale Marseille, Fresnel Institute, in France is coordinating the VisIoN project with support from six academic and five industry partners from seven European countries including Germany, France, Spain, and the Czech Republic. The project will commence in early October and will run for four years. Northumbria was awarded over £440,000 for its role in the £3.44m project.
Through the work of its Optical Communications Research Group, led by Professor Zabih (Fary) Ghassemlooy, Northumbria has generated considerable expertise in the field of Visible Light Communications over the last 12 years.
VisIon Project Partner Northumbria to Instruct New Generation of Researchers in Visible Light Communication
As a principal VisIoN project partner, Northumbria will help instruct a new generation of early-stage researchers in the area of Visible Light Communication. The University intends to also contribute to improved scientific understanding and increased technical knowledge within the field.
These contributions will include investigating how the technology can be employed in smart transportation, medical, and manufacturing environments. Also, as part of the project, Northumbria academics will support Ph.D. students, run tutorials and workshops and write academic papers about Visible Light Communication.
Professor Ghassemlooy said, ““Visible Light Communication (also known as LiFi) is completely transforming the concept of telecommunication. Modern LED lights are extremely energy efficient and long lasting and it is predicted that in the near future LEDs will be the main source of light worldwide. LEDs can also be used for indoor GPS and sensing, thus opening up new frontiers in research in this emerging green technology.”
Professor Ghassemlooy added, “The benefit of LEDs is that they are semiconductor devices, similar to silicon chips, which means we can switch these bulbs on and off at very high speeds, thus allowing data to be sent from LED lights to devices such as computers, smartphones, traffic signs and a wide variety of other receivers.”
He concluded, “This communication takes place faster than the human eye can process, so we would simply see a constant flow of light, providing us with illumination while also transporting data quickly, safely and securely.”
The VisIoN project was awarded funding through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 764461.