Today PureVLC claimed a World first. A text message sent directly from an LED lamp and received on an unmodified smart phone.
LightMessage is patented and has been under wraps for a while but was revealed at EIE’12. The demonstration video shows the LightMessage app being run on an Android device, but any smart phone could have been used. I think 2 myths have been expelled in developing this app; 1) the camera can be used as a VLC sensor and the light does not need to flicker, and 2) VLC does not need to be line of sight since LightMessage can use reflected light. The raw data rate is currently about 2.5kbps and there is considerable scope for improvements.
PureVLC developed LightMessage as a demonstration that current smart phones already posses the components required for VLC, albeit at relatively low data rates. The bill of materials does not really need to increase to implement VLC. With some adaptation or optimisation of the existing components high speed Li-Fi becomes possible. LightMessage even in its current form would be useful as an indoor positioning, or location based messaging technology.
Sir Jackie Stewart (3x F1 World Champion) was the keynote speaker at EIE’12 and he tried out LightMessage for himself.