Episode 032: LiFi is the future of WiFi with Dr. Haas

Dr. HaasDr. Harald Haas was an invited speaker at TED Global 2011, and his talk: “Wireless Data from Every Light Bult” is the main topic of this episode.  Professor Haas tell us about his work and his invention of LiFi which was listed among the 50 best inventions in TIME Magazine, 2011.  He also expands on the main advantages of LiFi technology and it’s future capability as a replacement to WiFi.  Dr. Haas also shares with us his latest work with using off-the-shelf solar panels as broadband LiFi data receivers.  He completes our interview by summarizing how LiFi technology can be a complete game changer and what it means for our future.

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Professor Haas received his PhD degree from the University of Edinburgh in 2001. 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. He first introduced and coined LiFi. LiFi was listed among the 50 best inventions in TIME Magazine 2011.

Prof. Haas was an invited speaker at TED Global 2011, and his talk: “Wireless Data from Every Light Bulb” has been watched online more than 2.2 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 million times. Professor Haas holds 31 patents and has more than 30 pending patent applications. He has published 300 conference and journal papers including a paper in Science. He co-authors a book entitled: “Principles of LED Light Communications Towards Networked Li-Fi” published with Cambridge University Press in 2015. He was co-recipient of recent best paper awards at the IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC-Fall) in Las Vegas in 2013, and VTC-Spring in Glasgow in 2015. He was co-recipient of the EURASIP Best Paper Award for the Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking in 2015, and co-recipient of the Jack Neubauer Memorial Award of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society. In 2012, he was the recipient of the prestigious Established Career Fellowship from the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) within Information and Communications Technology in the UK. Prof. Haas is recipient of the Tam Dalyell Prize 2013 awarded by the University of Edinburgh for excellence in engaging the public with science. In 2014, he was selected by EPSRC as one of ten RISE (Recognising Inspirational Scientists and Engineers) Leaders in the UK.



TED talk


Principles of LED Light Communications Towards Networked Li-Fi

Authors: Svilen Dimitrov, German Aerospace Center (DLR) and  Harald Haas, University of Edinburgh

Hardback isbn: 9781107049420

Glimpse into the interview:

ES: What are you the most excited about in your field of work and why?

HH: Providing the essential infrastructure technology for the 21st data centric century to be able to tackle the fundamental societal challenges.

ES: What makes this project/research special to you personally?

HH: People say that LiFi is a game-changer and massively disruptive – this provides huge motivation to get it out to people…. hence, I have founded pureLiFi.

ES: What is the next big obstacle that you see in this field and what implications will this have on the world of science or your study in particular?

HH: How to merge two still independent industries: i) wireless communications and ii) lighting industry to establish something stronger than the sum of the parts. We all have seen the huge success of software companies who have benefited from the Internet, but the more data is transmitted the more limited the data pipes become. Hence, the lifeline of these companies is endangered. We need new fat data pipes and the time has come that the value of hardware communications infrastructure providers has to be treasured more… it is not the question of the killer app any more, the question of the next decade is, what technology can avoid the ‘killed app’.

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