Wi-Fi is so 2018: Institute of Physics opens Accelerator Centre in Caledonian Road with visionary ‘Li-Fi’ technology

The institute’s head of science and innovation Anne Crean. Picture: Michael Boniface

The institutes head of science and innovation Anne Crean. Picture: Michael Boniface - Credit: Archant

The Institute of Physics launched its Accelerator Centre last week equipped with some eye-catching technology – Li-Fi (Wi-Fi by light).

The Li-Fi machine. Picture: Michael Boniface

The Li-Fi machine. Picture: Michael Boniface - Credit: Archant

The new centre holds 1,000 sq ft of workspace for entrepreneurs and businesses at the site on Caledonian Road.

It is also fitted with Li-Fi - a wireless communication technology powered by light rather than radio frequency, as found in Wi-Fi.

The institute's head of science and innovation Anne Crean said the technology was a potential game-changer moving forward.

She said: "We're all so connected now using the internet and downstreaming videos that there's going to be a big data crunch soon and not enough bandwidth for Wi-Fi to work (known as the spectrum crunch).

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"That's why we're moving out into different frequencies such as light.

"In the future you could be in an office and you wouldn't need a router - it would all be built into the lighting system and you would communicate from the lights.

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"It's an exciting, disruptive technology that might impact on business and the public for years to come."

Li-Fi is said to provide 1,000 times more bandwidth than Wi-Fi for carrying data.

"Security-wise you can't tap into it," added Anne. "Wi-Fi leaks through the wall because it uses radio frequency but light doesn't - it's very much a bi-directional communication so secret spies can't tap in!"

The Accelerator Centre will further the institute's wide remit where it works with government bodies, academics, researchers, entrepreneurs and industry firms.

The charity is keen to develop its ties with the Islington community - it already partners with local schools and wants to grow the industry's employment opportunities in the borough.

It sees the Accelerator Centre as another platform to do just that.

Anne said: "It's here to help entrepreneurs, start-ups and middle-sized organisations come together, network, collaborate and share intelligence.

"It can help them access funding or for instance put them in touch with someone knowledgeable about bank loans, or perhaps even develop a partnership with the local university.

"The idea is that an organisation's growth will be even greater at the centre because they'll benefit from all the institute's networks."

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