There are many applications for VLC and here are my top 10 applications areas. In later blogs I will consider certain applications in a little more detail.
1. SMART LIGHTING
Smart buildings require smart lighting. Smart lighting with VLC provides the infrastructure for illumination, control and communications and will greatly reduce wiring and energy consumption within a building.
2. MOBILE CONNECTIVITY
By pointing a visible light at another device you can create a very high speed data link with inherent security. This overcomes the problems of having to pair or connect and provides a much higher data rate than Bluetooth or WiFi.
3. HAZARDOUS ENVIRONMENTS
Communicating in areas where there is risk of explosions can be a problem (e.g. in mines, petro-chemical plants, oil rigs etc.) . VLC is inherently safe and provides both safe illumination and communications.
4. VEHICLE & TRANSPORTATION
Many cars already LED lamps. Traffic signage, traffic lights, and street lamps are adopting the LED technology so there are massive applications opportunities here.
5. DEFENCE & SECURITY
The ability to send data quickly and in a secure way is the key to many applications. The fact that the visible light cannot be detected on the other side of a wall had great security advantages.
6. HOSPITALS & HEALTHCARE
There are advantages for using VLC in hospitals and in healthcare. Mobile phones and WiFi’s are undesirable in certain parts of hospitals, especially around MRI scanners and in operating theatres.
7. WiFi SPECTRUM RELIEF
WiFi’s have got faster over but cannot keep up with demand for wireless data. VLC can provide data rates greatly in excess of current WiFi and this can be done at low cost since the RF components and antenna system have been eliminated.
Radio is undesirable in passenger compartments of aircraft. LEDs are already used for illumination and can also be used instead of wires to provide media services to passengers. This reduces the aircraft construction costs and its weight.
9. UNDERWATER COMMUNICATIONS
RF does not work underwater but visible light can support high speed data transmission over short distances in this environment. This could enable divers and underwater vehicles to talk to each other.
10. LOCATION BASED SERVICES
Each visible light information source can be uniquely identified, so the location of any VLC device can be identified quickly and accurately.