Canadian Consulting Engineer

Talking LEDs

September 14, 2015

Researchers at the Disney Research and ETH Zurich have shown that LED lights could communicate with each other over the internet.

While it’s well known that light can be used to transmit signals, the difference with this research is it shows that LED lights not only can communicate with each other, but also can do so in a way that is compatible with Internet protocols.

In an article in, Stefan Mangold, head of Disney Research’s wireless research group, said the Visible Light Communication (VLC) enables a true “Internet of Things.” The adapted LEDs could become interactive communication nodes used in sensors, smartphones and appliances.

The researchers were able to create networks with a throughput of up to 1 kilobit per second. The VLC-enabled bulbs could be used to broadcast beacons, detect the location of objects, be linked into a network to route signal traffic, or could be used to communicate with objects.

The researchers used off-the-shelf commercial LED light bulbs and modified them, including using a System-on-a-Chip running the Linux operating system, a VLC controller module with the protocol software and an additional power supply.
To read the complete article of September 11, 2015, click here.


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