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St. Cloud first to sign on for new technology
[November 19, 2010]

St. Cloud first to sign on for new technology

Nov 19, 2010 (St. Cloud Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- St. Cloud will be the first city in the world to use a new light technology communication service.

Mayor Dave Kleis signed a contract Thursday with St. Cloud-based LVX Minnesota for LED lighting solutions and visible-light communication services.

Visible-light communication is a form of ultra high-speed, secure wireless data transmission that uses visible light, according to LVX Minnesota.

The city's Economic Development Authority paid $10,000 to bring the technology to the city, City Administrator Mike Williams said.

The first lights will be installed before the end of the year as part of a three-phase deployment. The lights will be installed at six St. Cloud buildings, including City Hall, the police department, Fire Station 1, Wastewater Treatment Facility, St. Cloud Civic Center and St. Cloud Public Works Central Maintenance building, according to a news release.

Kleis said the technology presents the city with an opportunity to save money and be more energy-efficient. The LED lights will save money on electricity and, in the long term, wiring buildings.

Kleis likened the city's position as the first to put the technology to use as being the first telephone customer.

"It's a great opportunity," he said.

During the first phase, the city will be able to determine how well the technology works before moving forward to the second and third phases, Kleis said.

Visible-light communication uses equipment that looks like standard lamps or ceiling lights. They generate light from LEDs, according to a news release. The LEDs turn on and off at very high speeds -- changes that are invisible to the eye -- to transmit data in binary code while lighting an area like traditional lights.

LVX Minnesota said in a release that its technology allows users to communicate wirelessly with speeds previously unavailable. It also saves energy, is better for the environment and provides more secure networks, according to the release.

The technology was created by Apollo High School graduate John Pederson.

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