The Internet of Things (IoT) drives a rapid growth of the amount of data communication as tens of Billions of devices will communicate. Today’s IoT is predominantly narrowband. Yet, we also foresee increasing demands for communication at high Quality of Service, such as guaranteed high bit rates at low latency. A wide range of future IoT applications, i.e. flexible manufacturing, augmented reality and autonomous cars require the exchange of sensor and video data, processed in the cloud, while doing real-time remote control of autonomous devices.
Optical Wireless Communication (OWC) is very well positioned to provide high speed, latency-free communication for these applications. By networking multiple OWC-enabled access points, one can build a new mobile communication system integrated with lighting. At the moment, first generations of a Li-Fi system, based on visible or InfraRed LEDs are rolled out, based on the new ITU standard, but the potential for OWC goes much further.
Li-Fi has key advantages: In critical applications radio signals can easily be jammed. Radio reception is hampered by reception problems is environments with lots of metals, such as factory halls. While radio spectrum is densely populated, communication via light can use vast amounts unlicensed optical spectrum. This, in addition to the ability to steer laser light beams precisely the location of the client devices, excellently positions optical communication to connect the IoT of the future.
The future IoT can be enabled by OWC providing networked mobile communication using the light. Moreover, identifiers in the light can provide accurate positioning information, to support for instance asset tracking and to guide autonomous vehicles.
During the Photonics Applications Week several conferences will take place with respect to IoT. Click below on the picture to find out more.