New words 18 June 2012

li-fi noun a form of wireless connection that uses light

Yet that is still only a flicker of what is possible. Last October a number of companies and industry groups formed the Li-Fi Consortium, to promote high-speed optical wireless systems.

[www.economist.com 28 Jan 2012]

Professor Gordon Povey and Wired magazine pin-up Professor Harald Haas believe that visible light communication – or li-fi – can challenge the dominance of GPS, or the Global Positioning System.

[The Independent (UK broadsheet) 2 Feb 2012]

microplastic noun very tiny pieces of plastic, such as fibres from synthetic materials

Microscopic plastic debris from washing clothes is accumulating in the marine environment and could be entering the food chain, a study has warned. Researchers traced the ‘microplastic’ back to synthetic clothes, which released up to 1,900 tiny fibres per garment every time they were washed.

[www.bbc.co.uk 30 Jan 2012]

RTLS abbreviation real-time locating system; a system used to track people’s location, used e.g. in apps and satnavs

Whatever the technology, these real-time locating systems (RTLS) are all about ‘triangulation’, explains Professor Ajay Malik, former head of engineering for Motorola and author of ‘RTLS for dummies’.

[The Independent (UK broadsheet) 2 Feb 2012]

smart TV noun a television that connects to the Internet and can download apps

The likes of Samsung, Sony, LG and Panasonic are battling it out for dominance by offering ‘smart TVs […]

[The Observer (UK broadsheet) 15 Jan 2012]

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