And there was Li-Fi!

Residents of the Camille Claudel eco-district in Palaiseau (Essonne) will be some of the very first in France to enjoy Li-Fi network access at home. The technology uses light to carry information wirelessly using extremely precise geolocation. Already a leading player in rolling out Li-Fi in public spaces, EDF is now looking to bring this idea right into people's homes. To achieve this, EDF Optimal Solutions launched a call for projects in December 2015 with the Partager La Ville platform so as to identify the most useful apps for residents and to recruit the most ingenious start-ups working in wireless light-based transmission. And the winner can now be revealed: Home LiFi-Services, which works on interconnection between connected devices. It includes the companies Actiled, Courchevel Telecom, Algonano, Mon P'ti Voisinage and Bee Lifi. We spoke to Valentine de Lajarte, director and co-founder of Partager La Ville, about this original approach. How did the Home Li-Fi project come about? Valentine de Lajarte: We'd noticed that Li-Fi technology existed but wasn't really being used. We thought it made sense to use the Partager La Ville platform to bring together a range of stakeholders who could set out the future of this breakthrough innovation – and, more specifically, who could determine new uses that are better suited to and more useful for residents. After dialogue with the municipality of Palaiseau, ScientiPôle Aménagement (1) and EDF Optimal Solutions, the choice was made to roll out Li-Fi technology and to develop services to help dependent people remain at home. Alongside this, EDF Optimal Solutions was also behind the roll-out of outdoor Li-Fi technology through the 75 street lights in Palaiseau's Camille Claudel neighbourhood. Why did you choose this theme? The over-60s currently account for 23% of the population of France, and this should reach 31.5% by 2050. But the majority of elderly people say they want to stay at home for as long as possible, preferring this option to moving to expensive specialised facilities. However, 80% of day-to-day accidents among the over-65s are caused by falls at home. In this context, geolocated communication services using Li-Fi – for example safety warnings – show their true value. Could you give us an example of services that could be offered thanks to a Li-Fi network within buildings? An artificial intelligence could detect abnormal movements within a home, such as prolonged lack of movement in a corridor, which could indicate a fall. But the benefits of this system only really become clear if a warning is sent to a remote assistance platform and if this warning is looked into, for example, by a concierge service. Remote medical consultations could even be used as an additional system feature. To go further Find out the project on website (in French) At the heart of the biggest eco-district in Palaiseau