From smart houses to data sent through light

Montreal Times - - News -

(ÉTS), Eric­s­son, and the Quartier de l'in­no­va­tion (QI). The demon­stra­tion of the var­i­ous tech­no­log­i­cal ap­pli­ca­tions took place at the ÉTS.

Many of the in­no­va­tions on dis­play aim at de­vel­op­ing what has been termed "the In­ter­net of things" that is the abil­ity for de­vices con­trol­ling light­ing, heat­ing, air con­di­tion­ing, the flux of wa­ter and so on, to com­mu­ni­cate, and be mon­i­tored au­to­mat­i­cally or at a dis­tance. Th­ese ob­jects, to ac­com­plish this abil­ity to op­er­ate with prac­ti­cally no hu­man in­ter­ven­tion, would in­ter­con­nect with each other in some cases, or in­ter­act with their phys­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment through sen­sors in oth­ers.

Ac­cess to the In­ter­net is an es­sen­tial con­di­tion, given the in­creas­ing de­mands from busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als. To im­prove the ef­fi­ciency of WiFi,Videotron has launched what it has called Wi-Fi SON (for Self-Or­ga­niz­ing Net­work).The pur­pose of this sys­tem is to "trans­form tra­di­tional Wi-Fi ac­cess points into a smart net­work." The way Wi-Fi SON works is by hav­ing the ter­mi­nals "per­ma­nently con­nected to a cloud-based hub that an­tic­i­pates and man­ages the wire­less con­nec­tions of one or more users or things with­out hu­man in­ter­ven­tion in or­der to pro­vide a seam­less ex­pe­ri­ence.Videotron is work­ing with XCel­lAir, a trail­blazer in smart Wi-Fi net­works, on this project." Olivier Kramer, from Videotron, ex­plained to me that this sys­tem pro­vides a more fo­cused ac­cess to Wi-Fi by au­to­mat­i­cally plac­ing users in the best fre­quency band. This net­work has al­ready been tried at some stu­dent dorms.

And then, why rely on Wi-Fi if you can have LiFi? What is this? Hacène Ted­jini, CEO of Global LiFi Tech, demon­strates how you can ac­tu­ally trans­mit data not by WiFi, which are ra­dio sig­nals, but by light, in this case, LED light­ing. Mr. Ted­jini ex­plained to me the ad­van­tages of this new tech­nol­ogy to trans­mit data, in par­tic­u­lar in places such as hospi­tals, schools, planes, where ra­dio sig­nals may in­ter­fere with their own equip­ment. It would even­tu­ally re­place Wi-Fi, Mr.Ted­jini af­firms, em­pha­siz­ing some of its other ad­van­tages: geo-lo­cal­iza­tion, "each light has a lo­ca­tion where you stand it would send you the in­for­ma­tion" he says. This in­no­va­tive ap­proach to send­ing data has not yet been tried in Canada, but it has al­ready worked in France, he adds.

An­other in­ter­est­ing dis­play was one in which ÉTS it­self is di­rectly in­volved: Pro­fes­sor Mo­hamed Cheriet ex­plained how a com­pletely au­to­matic smart sys­tem al­lows the con­trol of light­ing, heat­ing, air con­di­tion­ing, the open­ing and clos­ing of doors, etc. at the school's stu­dent res­i­dence.

And for a project at a larger scale, an­other dis­play shows an in­te­grated light­ing sys­tem for the city, which would in­volve the street lights (smart lamps), traf­fic lights au­to­mat­i­cally syn­chro­nized to deal with the fluc­tu­a­tions in the num­ber of ve­hi­cles, and in­for­ma­tion sent to passengers wait­ing at the bus stops.

The Open Sky Lab­o­ra­tory for Smart Life is not only aim­ing at univer­sity or other es­tab­lished re­searchers: do you have a tech­nol­ogy project in mind? "In the fall of 2017, an on­line project sub­mis­sion por­tal will go live. Busi­nesses and re­searchers will be able to sub­mit pro­pos­als which will be eval­u­ated by a se­lec­tion com­mit­tee.As cit­i­zens are at the heart of the project, mem­bers of the pub­lic will also be in­vited to sub­mit ideas."

A gen­eral view of the Open Sky Lab­o­ra­tory for Smart Life

The smart house

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