Oledcomm, pioneer of LiFi in aeronautics
In partnership with the aeronautical equipment manufacturer Latécoère and Air France, Oledcomm has worked on the creation of a customized LiFi system, specially designed for airplanes. As the passengers of the A321 that was flying from Paris to Toulouse on the day of the demonstration were able to see, it is now possible for passengers to access a high-speed Internet connection on board an aircraft, without using radio frequency waves. Only the light emitted by LiFi LEDs is sufficient to power video games, streaming and other bandwidth-hungry activities, with almost zero latency. What is special about the LiFi equipment developed by Oledcomm for the aviation industry? Unlike conventional LiFi products, the devices installed on board aircraft will not use visible light but infrared. This is an important detail, especially on long-haul flights, where half of the aircraft cabin is in darkness.
LiFi revolutionizes in-flight connectivity
The application of LiFi technology in the air offers more than just convenience to passengers. In fact, the WiFi equipment that used to be the standard for in-flight entertainment systems weighs about 1.3 tons, a considerable weight that has a direct and significant impact on fuel consumption. The culprits behind this overload? Shielded copper cables to prevent interference from radio waves emitted by WiFi with other electronic equipment in the aircraft. By eliminating the need for such cabling, replacing WiFi with LiFi can cut the weight of the in-flight entertainment system in half, resulting in significant energy and budget savings for airlines. In addition, installing LiFi on existing aircraft has little impact from a practical and regulatory standpoint. There is no need to redesign the entire aircraft layout to adopt this technology. Finally, because LiFi has very low latency, even when used by dozens of passengers simultaneously, its democratization in the aviation sector would pave the way for a whole new experience for passengers. They could soon benefit from a smooth, fast and stable internet connection for video games or virtual reality, and this from several kilometers above the ground. Although aviation is not the main field of application for LiFi, its many benefits to the industry suggest that the number of aircraft equipped with it will grow significantly in the near future.