UC Riverside & Gallium LED Lighting Demonstrate VLC

UC Riverside VLC Visual LIght Communication with LEDsNEWS ALERT
For Immediate Release
June 2013

Contact: Jeff Baxter, VP Business Development

Gallium Lighting Systems LLC
33562 Yucaipa Blvd. #4-342
Yucaipa, CA 92399
Office: (831) 425-5486
Cell: (951) 201-1831

University of California, Riverside and Gallium LED Lighting Systems Demonstrate Visual Light Communications

Light-Based Communications Technology Featured at
UC-Light Center’s Industrial Advisory Board Meeting
at the Bourns College of Engineering

YUCAIPA, CA – In partnership with Gallium LED Lighting Systems, a local LED lighting company, The University of California’s Center for Ubiquitous Communications by Light (UC-Light), based at UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering, demonstrated technology that will offer alternative solutions for the world’s growing demand for mobile communications. The explosion of smart phones and tablets, with their ability to send and receive data, music, videos, and full length movies, are pushing the current mobile communications infrastructure to its limits. Wi-Fi and Cell phone technology are based on radio frequencies. Radio Frequencies (RF), which are government regulated, are limited resources that are quickly reaching maximum capacity.

At a recently held Industrial Advisory Board Meeting led by UC-Light’s director, Professor of Electrical Engineering Albert Wang, an alternative to Wi-Fi and other RF-based communications was presented using visible light as the communications medium. Professor Wang and his team presented a variety of Visual Light Communication (VLC) and Visual Light Positioning (VLP) demonstrations using LED lights as the data signal transmitter. “The mission of the UC-Light Center is to enable wireless communications by embedding signals into the light emitted by next-generation LEDs for illumination, traffic control, advertising, and other purposes”, said Professor Wang. “We all understand the radio based Wi-Fi used in laptops, smart phones, and tablets. An easy way to understand this new technology is to consider communications via Light Fidelity or (Li-Fi).”

To demonstrate the potential of VLC within commercial buildings and residential living space, Gallium LED light fixtures are installed throughout the UC-Light laboratory area. One computer in the lab is connected to a Gallium Light Fixture, which transmits data using signaling from the LED lights to a VLC enabled receiver, which is then connected to another computer. The demonstration was able to pass High-Definition video from the first device to the other without stopping to “buffer” the data stream. The notion is to develop this new technology as a safe and secure alternative or enhancement to existing data communications methods. “We are delighted to see the progress UCR has made with VLC”, said Jerry Keith, CEO of Gallium Lighting, LLC. “It’s been a true honor to work with Professor Wang and the UC-Light Center on such an innovative and worthy project. Those of us at Gallium Lighting see this technology as a tremendous benefit for the increasing number of facilities currently hindered by RF interference issues and are in need of greater data security and mobility.”

Gallium Lighting, in association with the UC-Light Center, is planning to install a limited VLC system in a local facility as a test bed especially for medical facilities. “The purpose of this research is to demonstrate how hospitals can support wider mobility with highly sophisticated medical devices while complying with HIPPA security requirements”, said Jeff Baxter, Gallium’s VP. “The new VLC capabilities in Gallium LED Lighting products would be installed in hospitals that are being negatively impacted by dependence on an already congested Radio Frequency (RF) spectrum for mobility of mission critical systems and devices.”

Traditional Wi-Fi networks in medical facilities, while necessary for information sharing and data infrastructure, compete with vital patient monitoring systems and medical devices that utilize adjacent or competing radio frequencies. By deploying VLC, hospital staff will connect to the hospital’s information system using VLC-enabled devices. Because it is a completely different communications medium, RF interference issues will be eliminated. “We see the revolutionary, multifunctional qualities of these Gallium LED devices replacing standard commercial and residential lighting in whatever form it might be (incandescent, fluorescent, halogen, etc…) in lieu of more intelligent, network-based LED lighting nodes” says Gordon Campbell, President of Gallium Lighting and experienced Network Communications Consultant. “The devices would not only provide the lighting for the facility and a new means of data communications mobility within the facility, but will also integrate seamlessly with the facility’s network-based lighting control systems, also known as Smart Lighting Systems.”

The UC-Light Center’s Industrial Advisory Board Meeting included many academic, industry, and political notables. In attendance were representatives from Intel, Northrop, Qualcomm, Osram, County of Riverside, and State Assemblyman, Mike Morrell’s office. “The interaction and discussion at this year’s event was insightful and stimulating”, said Richard D. Roberts, Intel Labs Research Scientist. Academic participants included researchers in optics, networking, communications, micro-circuitry, and architecture. Yehuda E. Kalay professor of architecture, UC Berkeley, states he envisions a “communication/command/control paradigm for hospitals, where the building becomes aware of what is happening inside it and can actively assist the inhabitants in carrying out their tasks more efficiently or more safely.”

A significant economic opportunity exists in the Inland Empire. Gallium Lighting will employ many professionals to implement these new technologies. “We are proud to be at the forefront of a rapidly expanding Eco-friendly industry,” said Jeff Baxter. “We work with agencies, architects, building engineers, lighting designers, electrical contractors, facility managers and designers to provide energy efficient LED lighting products that allow for creative designs in a variety of locations and applications. As this new technology evolves, architects are free to use their imagination to bring a fresh new look and expression to their designs.” The new Gallium fixtures have a sleeker, more contemporary look and are designed to blend the light source into the overall aesthetic of the structure, without standing out.

The UC-Light Center was funded initially through a $3.5-million University of California Multicampus Research Program and Initiatives competition grant that includes UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Merced, UC Riverside and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. In addition to support from Gallium Lighting, addition to the project include Boeing, Cisco, Intel, Los Alamos National Lab, Microsemi, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Sutter Health, Celerity Technologies, Broadcom, and Qualcomm.

For more information, contact Jeff Baxter at (831) GALLIUM or at jbaxter@galliumlighting.com.

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