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Optical Wi-Fi enables ultrafast underwater communication

September 22, 2020


Startup Hydromea, a spin-off company from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, has developed a miniature optical modem that can operate down to 6,000 meters below the ocean’s surface. It is sensitive enough to collect data at high speeds from sources more than 50 meters away.

This is useful for researchers needing to use a connected device underwater, for example for data gathering – radio waves do not work well in these conditions because they are easily absorbed by water, meaning they cannot effectively communicate much further than a meter or so.