Fraunhofer HHI provides VLC technology for conference room application

June 10, 2015

The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI is providing the necessary Visible Light Communication (VLC) technology in order to implement an optical WiFi environment in a conference room on Mainau Island (Lake Constance). This will replace the existing radio-based WiFi solution. The upgrade is planned to take place in several stages and provide insights for practice-oriented optimization of system parameters. The project is sponsored by the Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector Baden-Württemberg. The Initiative BodenseeMobilfunk (Lake Constance wireless initiative) is committed to reducing radio emissions and provided the idea for the project on Mainau Island.

The project partners (l-r): Günter Dolak (BodenseeMobilfunk), Dr. Thomas Weimer (Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector Baden-Württemberg), Dr. Andrea Leute (BodenseeMobilfunk), Dr. Anja Schmolke (Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector Baden-Württemberg), Heinrich Straub (Mainau GmbH), Dr. Anagnostis Paraskevopoulos (Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI), Dr. Stefan Zbornik (BodenseeMobilfunk), Bettina Gräfin Bernadotte (Mainau GmbH) and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Skupin (Hochschule Konstanz, University of Applied Sciences). © Mainau

The use of an optical (RF-free) WiFi transmission based on visible light communication (VLC) in the conference room has several advantages. Fraunhofer HHI project manager Dr. Anagnostis Paraskevopoulos: "The VLC technology is a very interesting alternative approach with which the increasing exposure to radio frequency emissions can be avoided without having to waive the mobile, i.e. wireless, exchange of high data volumes. Testing the technology in a real-world environment is very important to the Fraunhofer HHI. The insights obtained in this way can lead to user-oriented optimization of the system parameters as well as to accelerated preliminary development efforts. In this way, time-to-the-market for respective innovative products in conjunction with potential industry partners, for example in the lighting industry, will be significantly reduced.

For the botanical garden on Mainau Island, the focus is on the qualified environmentally friendly orientation of the organization and the associated perception of the visitors. The project is important because it is intended to demonstrate that the alternative - optical instead of radio based data transmission - doesn't exist only as a research concept but can also work in real-world environments. "I support the research into low-radiation mobile communication because of my personal convictions, and we, as Mainau Island, are delighted that we can contribute to further deployment of the new technology", Countess Bettina Bernadotte, Director at Mainau GmbH, tells us.

The BodenseeMobilfunk initiative which was founded in 2007 and which counts the Ärzteinitiative Mobilfunk Allgäu-Bodensee-Oberschwaben among its members is also involved in the project. "Due to the rapidly increasing radiation exposure, a new approach to mobile communication is urgently required. Promoting and developing innovative concepts and technology solutions to minimize the radiation load is therefore important to us", Dr. Andrea Leute tells us. Dr. Stefan Zbornik, co-initiator of the BodenseeMobilfunk: "We are proud to say that in conjunction with our project partners, we have been able to initiate the first pilot project of its kind in Europe in an application-based context."

Further information on the VLC technology for Mainau Island is available at:


Dr.-Ing. A. Paraskevopoulos - Fraunhofer HHI


[email protected]

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