Fraunhofer HHI field tests Li-Fi in German classroom

November 06, 2017 //By Julien Happich
Since the beginning of 2017 Fraunhofer HHI has been working together with the Hegel-Gymnasium in Stuttgart, Germany, to upgrade a classroom with Visible Light Communication technology (VLC).

Now, Isabel Fezer, Mayor of Youth and Education of the city Stuttgart, has opened the room with an optical WLAN environment. The VLC technology here is proposed as an alternative to traditional WLAN technology, avoiding radio radiation and while being immune to interference with other radio waves or electromagnetic fields.

The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI from Berlin is working on further developing this technology and with this classroom field test, it hopes to not only demonstrate the potential of this technology, but also to align future research in this area.

“The modern schoolroom needs new solutions for flexible data exchange. We believe that the VLC technology offers a genuine alternative to radio-based systems. Our project, thus, contributes to a digitalization of the classroom”, explains Dr. Anagnostis Paraskevopoulos, project manager at Fraunhofer HHI.

The current equipment, such as the VLC ceiling light and the VLC table top modules, are still in prototype stage, but it is expected that in the long term, industry will integrate the technology into room luminaires as well as into terminal equipment such as laptops, tablet PCs and smartphones.

Lessons at the Hegel-Gymnasium will be planned and adapted in order to intensely incorporate the use of the VLC system, so as to gain as much experience from the new installation and figure out its best use cases.

The realization of the “VLC-Classroom” project goes back to a resolution of the municipal council of Stuttgart. In the course of the last budget plan consultancy, it was decided to provide €500,000 for the improvement of IT equipment in schools and to finance, among others, this project as well. In addition to a financial contribution to the research work of the Fraunhofer HHI, the city is supporting the project through appropriate adjustment of the room infrastructure, which was realized by the school administration office and the municipal building authority.

Fraunhofer HHI – www.hhi.fraunhofer.de