Your humble editor is in France this week meeting with the big LiFi companies. France is a hotbed for LiFi and I am determined to find out why there is so much LiFi in France, but not much in the rest of the world. My first meeting was with ZERO1 LUX; they have offices in Dubai, Luxemburg, and Paris. The Paris office is located in shared space called Station F—a historic train station that has been remodeled for high tech. Several familiar names share this space such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Intel, along with about 2000 smaller companies. Think of WeWork on steroids.
I met with Marc Fleshen, President, and Sandrine Gihr, Directeur des Opérations. There are two types of LiFi: Bi-directional and Mono-directional. Zero1 Lux offers the Mono-directional. While I have seen videos, this was my first live demonstration of the one-way LiFi, which is used in retail, museums, and hospitals. I downloaded their app and then moved my phone under three lights with LiFi frequencies. Each time I moved under a light, a new screen popped up to represent what was happening in that specific location. Imagine downloading an app at a museum, which you are visiting, walk in front of a painting and suddenly, the details of that painting pop up instantly on your app. Move three feet to the next painting and, voila, those details are loaded. I saw examples of text, video, and what looked like a Powerpoint slide show—all instantly on my screen while under the appropriate light.
Mono-directional LiFi uses the camera in the phone, but it does not capture images, so there is no worry about excessive battery loss. During the demonstration we were able to communicate even when our phone was above the luminaire. This is because reflected light works quite well.
Zero1 Lux seems to have a great product and it is my belief that omni-directional LiFi, will establish itself in the US before the bi-directional LiFi.