Visible Light Communication (VLC) based on LEDs has been a hot topic investigated for over a decade. However, most of the research efforts assume the intensity of LED light is constant. This hypothesis is not true when Smart Lighting is introduced to VLC, which requires LEDs to adapt their brightness based on the intensity of natural ambient light. Smart lighting saves power consumption and improves user comfort. However, intensity adaptation severely affects the throughput performance of data communication. In this paper, we propose SmartVLC, a system that can maximize the throughput (benefit communication) while still maintaining the LEDs' illumination function (benefit smart lighting). A novel Adaptive Multiple Pulse Position Modulation (AMPPM) scheme is proposed to support fine-grained dimming levels to avoid flickering while maximizing the throughput under each dimming level. SmartVLC is implemented on off-the-shelf commodity hardware. Several real-life challenges in both hardware and software are addressed to make it a robust real-time system. Comprehensive experiments are carried out to evaluate the system performance under multifaceted scenarios. Experimental results demonstrate that SmartVLC supports a communication distance up to 3.6m, and improves the throughput achieved with two state-of-the-art approaches by 40 and 12 percent on average, respectively, without bringing any flickering to users.
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- system design
- Visible light communication