VLC; a review of 2011

Looking back over 2011 there is evidence that a Visible Light Communication industry now exists.

At the end of 2010 we saw the IEEE 802.15.7 standard being published and LVX System made the press with what was claimed to be the first commercial VLC system.  So, the first seeds appeared to be sown.  While the IEEE standard has not really developed further, and LVX have gone very quiet, there are other green shoots emerging that suggests the birth of an industry.

In early February I attended the Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center’s Academia – Industry Day at the Boston University and it was clear that there was growing academic and industry interest in the VLC area.

The European Omega Project concluded in March of 2011 and produced a number of working demonstrations of VLC including high data rate systems.

In July Harald Haas delivered his TED Global presentation and for the first time it seems that a general public audience grasped the importance of this technology when he demonstrated HD video transmitted from a desk lamp.

HHI VLC image

Image source: Heinrich Hertz Institute

During the year we have seen the emergence of ByteLight and VLC components from Outstanding Technologies. The Heinrich Hertz Institute have made a number of announcements. The first report on VLC was published by GBI Research, the LiFi Consortium was launched.

In December the second IEEE Workshop on Optical Wireless Communications Workshop was held at Globecom in Houston and prompted some lively debates.  At the panel session is seemed to be widely agreed that an industry is emerging and 2012 will be an exciting year for Visible Light Communications.

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