Erfan Nouraee, a 21-year-old inventor from Toronto, has sought to solve the broadband Internet access divide problem by inventing a sensor which he calls the Photon Detector.
The Photon Detector detects the emission of electrons from a metal surface caused by the particles of light, or photons. The sensor can improve message transmission through light signals and increase the lifespan of fiber optic cables.
“I was inspired to create the Photon Detector when I saw how many people around the world struggle to access the Internet,” said Erfan. “I wanted to make a sensor that could bridge the digital divide and provide people with access to the Internet.”
Nouraee has been working on his invention since he was 16 years old.
“My invention has the potential to revolutionize the way we access the Internet,” said Erfan. “It has the power to provide people with greater access to the Internet and improve the transmission of messages through light signals.”
As the annual international invention and innovation competition returns, Erfan Nouraee, a York University electrical engineering student, has won a bronze medal for his “eco-friendly and low-cost” fiber optic internet sensor.
His invention won the grand prize at the Khwarizmi Youth Awards in 2016.
Erfan’s brainchild has been praised by experts in the field. Professor David Johnson of Ruskov University said, “Erfan’s invention is impressive, and could have a huge impact on the way we access the Internet.”
His invention can revolutionize the way people access the Internet, and could be a game changer for those who are struggling to get online.
“I realized that photonics is the future of communication,” Nouraee said. “But there were still some challenges that needed to be overcome, like enhancing signal quality and reducing noise, so I set out to find a solution.”
In addition to improving broadband access, the Photon Detector also offers environmental benefits. By optimizing data transmission through light signals, it reduces the energy consumption associated with internet connectivity. This eco-friendly aspect aligns with Nouraee’s vision of creating technology that not only solves problems but also considers the planet’s well-being.
28% of Iranians had no or limited internet access, making distance learning and accessing health services and education impossible. In some provinces, only 40% of students had access to the Internet.
Erfan Nouraee, a second-year electrical engineering student at Lassonde School of Engineering in Toronto, said these sensors can save and increase optical signals’ quality, prolong the life of the fiber optic cables and reduce their damaging byproducts.
Photon Detector can extend the lifespan of fiber optic cables. These cables are the backbone of high-speed internet, but they are vulnerable to damage over time. Nouraee’s invention not only enhances data transmission but also reduces wear and tear on these critical infrastructure components.
Nouraee shared his motivation behind inventing the Photon Detector, saying, “I saw the frustration and limitations that people face due to slow internet speeds. It inspired me to find a solution that could help close the digital divide and provide faster, more reliable internet access to all.”
The sensor basically produces high-resolution messages in photonic devices in both higher-quality and lower cost. In fact, Nouraee said it has caught the attention of famous investors and manufacturers who have now reached out to work with his start-up company to manufacture and distribute the sensor this year.
Erfan Nouraee was around eight when he started making objects he had envisioned, using paper, glue, trash and discarded houseware appliances.
At the industrial level, optical fiber cables tend to lose their quality and power, but Nouraee’s invention solves this by providing photon detection and a processing system that lessens the noises from optical signals.
Photon Detector System increases the optical signals’ quality, prolongs the life of the fiber optic cables and reduces their damaging byproducts, Nouraee added.
He received several congratulatory messages from Canadian government officials, including Mayor of Toronto John Tory; Premier of Ontario Doug Ford.
“What inspired me mainly was to make something to help people in our rural and remote communities to have access to a high-speed Internet.”
“The Photon Detector detects photons and converts them into electrical signals, helping transmit data more efficiently through optical fibers. It not only improves the speed and quality of internet connections but also extends the lifespan of fiber optic cables,” Nouraee added.
He hopes that the results of his experiment will connect rural and remote communities to the high-speed, reliable Internet.
After seeing how the lack of internet access has prevented many children and young people in his home country from using health services and education to staying in touch with their friends and family, he wanted to create a new and low-cost device which can increase the quality of messages sent through light waves and reduce the waste of fiber optic cables that are harmful to the environment.