SunBox: Screen-To-camera communication with ambient light

Miguel Chavez Tapia*, Talia Xu, Zehang Wu, Marco Zuñiga Zamalloa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

A recent development in wireless communication is the use of optical shutters and smartphone cameras to create optical links solely from ambient light. At the transmitter, a liquid crystal display (LCD) modulates ambient light by changing its level of transparency. At the receiver, a smartphone camera decodes the optical pattern. This LCD-To-camera link requires low-power levels at the transmitter, and it is easy to deploy because it does not require modifying the existing lighting infrastructure. The system, however, provides a low data rate, of just a few tens of bps. This occurs because the LCDs used in the state-of-The-Art are slow single-pixel transmitters. To overcome this limitation, we introduce a novel multi-pixel display. Our display is similar to a simple screen, but instead of using embedded LEDs to radiate information, it uses only the surrounding ambient light. We build a prototype, called SunBox, and evaluate it indoors and outdoors with both, artificial and natural ambient light. Our results show that SunBox can achieve a throughput between 2 kbps and 10 kbps using a low-end smartphone camera with just 30 FPS. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first screen-To-camera system that works solely with ambient light.

Original languageEnglish
Article number46
Number of pages26
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • backscattering
  • ferroelectric liquid crystal over silicon
  • screen-camera communication
  • visible light communication

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'SunBox: Screen-To-camera communication with ambient light'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this