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Rome brings Li-Fi technology to school

Rome brings Li-Fi technology to school

The first such project to be introduced in Italy

On 15 April, the authorities in Rome announced the start of an innovative project that will take place at the Istituto Comprensivo Rosetta Rossi school. This involves the transmission of data through the Li-Fi (or Light Fidelity) technology in collaboration with the startup To Be, making it the first such experiment to be tried out in a school setting in Italy.

The project was presented by the mayor of the Italian capital, Virginia Raggi, and its promotion aimed to position the ambitions of the city council to make their city a role model in smart urban development that brings accessibility and quality of life.

Li-Fi, not Wi-Fi

Just like Wi-Fi, Light Fidelity is a wireless communication technology able to transmit data between devices, however, instead of using radiofrequency waves, it relies on light waves emitted from a source. The term and technology were introduced 10 years ago by Professor Harald Haas from the University of Edinburgh.

The benefits of Li-Fi technology supposedly lie in the ability to provide greater bandwidth and the elimination of the potential health risks that are present to people who are present in the areas covered by radio waves. Additionally, it has also been said that Li-Fi might provide greater security since one is only able to connect to a hotspot if standing in the ‘light cone’ area of the emitter.

The technical set-up of the experimental project involved the installation of a Li-Fi system consisting of 9 LED lamps, positioned on the ceiling of the computer room, with transmitters to connect the workstations to the Internet. 

The Li-Fi network at the Rosetta Rossi Institute will allow for 20 computers to connect to the network with higher download speeds than the traditional Wi-Fi with the result of improved school work possibilities for pupils and teachers.

“Rome is the first city in Italy, and one of the first in the world, to experiment with Li-Fi in a school. We took this opportunity with great enthusiasm, strengthening our commitment to lead Rome towards an increasingly smart, innovative and sustainable future. 

I am particularly proud that this technology, which is faster, more efficient and more secure than Wi-Fi, is being tested in a Roman school. Our students become protagonists of innovation,” stated Mayor Raggi on the occasion.

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