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LiFi tested for disaster communications

Testing of new light-based networking shows capabilities in subway disaster scenario

LiFi tested for disaster communications
Operation Convergent Response tested LiFi in a subway disaster situation.

LiFi networking technology has successfully undergone testing to prove its performance in disaster situations.

Verizon, Nokia and Aegex Technologies have held disaster testing resilience testing of the light-based LiFi solutions from pureLiFi, to test their suitability for rescue communications and emergency response in an underground environment.

The test, called Operation Convergent Response (OCR), was held at the Guardian Centers training facility in the United States. pureLiFi demonstrated its wireless LiFi technology in a subway disaster scenario. LiFi technology was used to maintain, real-time, bi-directional communications that could enable communications with a command centre allowing the emergency services to maintain safe, reliable connectivity during a response.

LiFi uses light rather than radio frequencies technology such as Wi-Fi and therefore can provide wireless connectivity in areas that Wi-Fi cannot such as power plants, petrochemical facilities, and hospitals. LiFi also eliminates interference because light can be directed.

pureLiFi's systems can be simply installed alongside existing lighting infrastructures making LiFi an ideal technology for anywhere light, and communications are required, such as industrial settings. As demonstrated at the Guardian Center LiFi can also maintain safe and reliable performance under disaster situations.

Jeffery Schweitzer, Chief Innovation Architect, from Verizon commented: "pureLiFi demonstrated that LiFi solutions could perform under real life operations and enable critical communications during response missions in chaotic and disastrous environments."

Alistair Banham, pureLiFi, CEO added: " LiFi provides uniquely reliable wireless communications in unpredictable conditions such as disaster circumstances. Due to the growing pervasiveness of LED lighting and the high speed, safe, secure and noninvasive qualities of LiFi the applications for this technology are limitless. LiFi will provide connectivity for our homes, our offices or public spaces and beyond."

Operation Convergent Response featured testing of a number of other emerging technologies around Internet of Things, including drones and robots for security, monitoring and medical support, communications infrastructure, end point devices and response co-ordination software.

The Guardian Centers facility was configured as the the largest ever real-world IoT test environment, with over 100 buildings and 1.5km of tunnels used to simulate real-life hazardous locations and disaster scenes to test how the IoT environment supports such extreme situations.


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