Launching Samsung's Fli-Fy Pigeons

By Matt on 1st Apr, 2014

Launching Samsung's Fli-Fy Pigeons

With the unveiling of Samsung’s Free Fli-Fy pilot scheme today at London’s Piccadilly Circus, we’ve caught up with the team at the Samsung Innovation Labs.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, check out Samsung’s Fli-Fy launch video. Find out how the pipe dream of universal free Wi-Fi is becoming a reality.

Samsung Fly-Fi micro router

"Our micro-router represents a giant leap within the telecommunications industry."

- Peter Collins

Samsung Fly-Fi

The evolution of the micro-router

As a world leader in mobile technology, Samsung has taken it upon themselves to develop and deliver free Wi-Fi that is not only strong but also available everywhere.

At the heart of this break through in Wi-Fi connectivity is a small piece of Samsung technology called a micro-router.

“Our micro-router represents a giant leap within the telecommunications industry. Where most single routers can handle hundreds of users, ours is not only much smaller but can also connect thousands of devices easily, and with superfast download speeds,” Peter Collins, Fli-Fy Project Director.

Samsung Fly-Fi micro router

The power of pigeons

Cracking the micro-router was only half the battle. They also had to develop a sustainable and effective network.

“Pigeons really have made Fli-Fy possible. They’re everywhere and non-migratory, so our coverage doesn’t fly south for the winter. They also provide our micro-routers with a unique method of recharging,” Tim Verhoeven, Senior Pigeon Engineer.

Carrier pigeons can carry a maximum of 75 grams on their backs. So at only 26 grams, the micro-router is virtually unnoticeable. Working with respected pigeon expert Brian Woodhouse, Samsung has developed a lightweight harness that is water-resistant and doesn’t impede the pigeon’s normal flying action. He said: “I was very happy with the way my pigeons were treated and they did not suffer any harm at all.”

“It was crucial that the pigeons maintained their normal behavioural patterns. This was how we were going to get our micro-routers out there and achieve blanket coverage,” Tim said.

“With their hollow legs, which allow for an electric charge to flow up into the micro-router, pigeons can keep the network powered by simply standing on power lines.”

“Once we had it figured out, we were like, why hasn’t anyone else thought of this?”

Power of Pigeons