Visible light communication (VLC) is an optical wireless communication technology that uses modulated LED light to transmit information that is captured by a photo-detector or a CMOS image sensor of a smartphone camera. Since the light is highly directional in nature, the information transmitted by the LED light can be captured by pointing the camera directly at the light.
The above idea can be extended to any device that contains a light source. LCD displays and projectors both use LED light source for display and projection respectively. Therefore, the LED backlight of the LCD display or the light source of the projector can be modulated to broadcast information using VLC. Since the information is transmitted simultaneously while displaying content, it can be time synchronized with the display to make it content and location specific, for example, a TV can provide information about the program being displayed. Similarly, an advertisement about a product or event can broadcast a URL about the advertised product or give directions to the venue respectively.
In this project, students will be given a VLC modulator device that needs to retrofit a display and a projector. Students will have the choice to choose whether they want to work with the display or a projector. The task is to identify the LED driver circuit on the board and retrofit a VLC modulator device to enable modulation on the display. Once the modulation function is implemented, students will be provided with VLC receiver application that can run on a smartphone and receive data from the modulated device. Finally, students are required to characterize the performance of the communication system by doing measurements.
1. Students will enhance their knowledge in analog circuit and signal processing. 2. Students will learn how to reverse engineer a commercial product to understand how it works and enable new features in it by modifying its circuit.
3. Students will learn how to develop a system and characterize its performance through carefully designed measurements.
4. Students will have chance to publish patents and academic papers based on their work.