The Aqua-Fi system manages to bring Internet to the underwater environment, being able to have Wifi under the sea.
4G, new 5G networks, data plans, Wi-Fi connections … We have become accustomed to wireless Internet ‘wireless’, but curiously behind this there is a huge system of ocean cables connecting to the world intended to provide the basic service.
Thousands and thousands of kilometers of physical and palpable cables that interconnect the entire world and allow you to surf the Internet right now, to play online from the console or to have a smart car with Google Maps guiding you and pointing the way. But isn’t it a somewhat archaic solution? How could it be done more effectively?
Now that summer arrives, many people will go to the beaches or to the swimming pools – always respecting social distancing measures to continue flattening COVID-19. And this implies being on mobile. If you are too addicted to your smartphone, you can put it in a special case or cover and use it even in water, although one thing that neither you nor anyone else can do is use the Internet underwater … Or at least, you couldn’t even now.
A team of researchers from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, in Saudi Arabia, has presented Aqua-Fi, a revolutionary underwater WiFi system that enables you to send and receive data online underwater, either among divers who they are exploring under the sea, or even from underwater to the surface. Aqua-Fi basically manages to bring the Internet to underwater environments, by implementing a compact, low-power underwater optical wireless system.
As its creators comment in the article presented in the IEEE Communications magazine, the Aqua-Fi uses an LED or a laser to support wide-ranging, two-way communication services with different requirements, with low cost and easy implementation. LEDs introduce rugged short-distance solutions with low power requirements. And the laser extends the communication distance and improves the transmission rate, albeit at the cost of higher energy requirements.
The team of researchers, led by Basem Shidada, uses green LEDs or a 520-nanometer laser to send data from a small device to a light detector connected to another device. In the study, the researchers note that they tested Aqua-Fi by uploading and downloading multimedia content between two computers a few meters away in static water and recorded a maximum data transfer rate of 2.11 megabytes per second and a latency of 1 millisecond. .
The first time of the Internet under water
Shidada reports that “this is the first time that someone uses the Internet completely wirelessly underwater. Hopefully one day Aqua-Fi will be as widely used or underwater as Wifi ”. And it is that its possibilities are enormous, from transmission systems for companies, armies, etc., to the adaptation of technology for something as simple as making a transmission by WhatsApp underwater in a pool.
The question is, will it take us long to see underwater Wi-Fi technology going? Will we adopt it soon, or rather late?