On the sidelines of an event organised by signify to announce the launch of its interact platform, we, at LED World, discussed about the scope of Li-Fi in providing connectivity.
It has been almost a year that Signify Innovations India Ltd. (erstwhile Philips Lighting), a global leader in lighting solution, launched its newest lighting-based technology solution Li-Fi (Light Fidelity) in India. It is a technology wherein high quality LED lighting provides a broadband Internet connection through light waves. To gauge the development of this front, we, at LED World, got hold with Sumit Padmakar Joshi, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Signify Innovations India Ltd.
Joshi suggests that Li-Fi is going to eliminate the use of routers. “In days to come, light will be able to provide the required internet connectivity. We launched this technology in India last year, which comes bundled with two important advantages: Firstly, it is the most secure of all networks as it requires one to be near the source of light to operate. Secondly, it is not a health hazard as it doesn’t emit electromagnetic waves. Moreover, it is difficult to get the network at places like operation theatres, which Li-Fi will make possible.”
According to him, it will not immediately replace WiFi because mobile devices will continue to have various options of connectivity. “Light is giving us more than illumination. The entire lighting ecosystem is in a process of transformation wherein Li-Fi-friendly lighting has become inevitable. For this technology to be successful, mobile devices will have to add Li-Fi as a connectivity option. The best part is that the speed of Li-Fi is much more than WiFi. The technology is still in its nascent stage. We are the first to launch Li-Fi technology here in India when we introduced it for Incubex, a Bengaluru-based start-up. We have received amazing response, which has made us hopeful and we know that it will pick up fast.”
Signify has also launched its Interact – a platform based on Internet of Things (IoT), which will enable its professional customers to unlock the full potential of connected lighting for the IoT. Accoding to the company, Signify has already installed 29 million connected light points worldwide and plans that every new LED product it produces will be connectable by 2020.
These connected light points, sensors and devices as well as systems can collect large volumes of data which Interact is designed to handle. The highly secure, scalable cloud-based Interact platform uses sophisticated and modern data management and data processing capabilities, including machine learning, creating data-enabled services for customers that will deliver benefits beyond illumination. It also offers a growing suite of licensed open application program interfaces (APIs) which foster innovation from third-party developers, development partners and customers, enabling various data enabled services to be developed.
According to Joshi, Interact is an IoT-ready connected lighting system, software and services brand. “There is a lot of talk happening around IoT but not much is happening on the ground. Lighting is the first segment where this is becoming a reality. Between 1891 and 2008, nothing dramatic happened in the world of lighting. In 2008, we became the first company in the world to launch LED lights and in 2012, we brought our first connected lighting. We believe lighting is slowly becoming a language as it can tell us many more things. We want to give integrated experience to people at large. Lighting is everywhere, and if all these lights get connected, the experience would be incredible.”
Speaking on the projects Signify has undertaken in the recent past, Joshi shares, “We have introduced Indoor Positioning System (IPS) in Spar hypermarket, wherein the light can guide shoppers to the section they are looking for. More than 1000 cities across the world are on interact platform, and India is also getting ready for this. One of the biggest IT companies here is running on our Interact Office platform. We are working with the first smart city of India – Pune, and also Naya Raipur. We are in discussion with several others.”
What is Interact connected lighting systems?
These connected lighting systems, offer a unified user experience, featuring applications that address industry-specific verticals. Available options are:
Interact Office – enables to turn any office into a smart sustainable workspace with software that allows occupants/owners to increase building efficiency and employees’ productivity.
Interact City – helps improve street lighting, safety, reduce energy consumption, improve efficiency and support the sustainability goals and beautify the urban landscape.
Interact Retail – enables customers to group, zone and schedule connected lighting to create stopping power in stores. It also supports in-store location-based marketing services to increase shopper engagement and indoor navigation to improve staff productivity.
Interact Landmark – aids in managing and triggering light shows with dynamic architectural lighting to help increase tourism, regenerate downtown areas, and stimulate commerce.
Interact Pro – an intuitive cloud-based software for small and medium enterprises that automates lighting and allows management via the Interact Pro dashboard.
Interact Sports – aids in monitoring, managing and coordinating across all lighting infrastructure from a single dashboard from pitch lighting, entertainment light shows, hospitality areas and exterior architectural lighting.