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Off-the-shelf internet

Harald Haas: A breakthrough new kind of wireless Internet

What if we could use existing technologies to provide Internet access to the more than 4 billion people living in places where the infrastructure can't support it? Using off-the-shelf LEDs and solar cells, Harald Haas and his team have pioneered a new technology that transmits data using light, and it may just be the key to bridging the digital divide. Take a look at what the future of the Internet could look like.

Harald Haas is the pioneer behind a new technology that can communicate as well as illuminate.

Imagine using your car headlights to transmit data ... or surfing the web safely on a plane, tethered only by a line of sight. Harald Haas is working on it. He currently holds the Chair of Mobile Communications at the University of Edinburgh, and is co-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.

Haas has long been studying ways to communicate electronic data signals, designing modulation techniques that pack more data onto existing networks. But his latest work leaps beyond wires and radio waves to transmit data via an LED bulb that glows and darkens faster than the human eye can see. His group published the first proof-of-concept results demonstrating that it is possible to to turn commercially available light emitting diode (LED) light bulbs into broadband wireless transmission systems.

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