Disney Research Delves into World of Linux-based VLC Systems

Visual Lighting Communication (VLC) systems are attracting players outside of traditional lighting designs, such as Disney Research.

Visible Light Communication testbed. (All photos courtesy of Disney Research)

Disney Research recently released a paper on their latest VLC findings using Linux-based LED lighting systems. The paper explores how IP stack and other networking protocols can be used to operate Linux-based VLC devices. The research team was able to demonstrate how the IP stack can operate on LED-based VLC node, using OpenWRT, a light-weight variant of Linux. The team was able to demonstrate the concept of the IP stack and proposed VLC protocols was flexible enough to inter-operate.

The research team members based in Zurich, Switzerland comprises of Stephan Schmid, Giorgio Corbellini, Thomas R. Gross, Manuela Hitz, and Stefan Mangold (Disney Research Zurich).

A demonstration of Disney Research Zurich team's LED-to-LED software protocol.

LEDs are widely used in consumer electronics, toys, light bulbs, cars, and monitors. The light’s capability of being programmed to emit precise lighting wavelengths compared to traditional lighting products makes it possible to control the lighting frequency.

Further, LEDs can also be used as receivers just like photodiodes. The concept of VLC is LED-to-LED networking.

The company has been working with the lighting technology since 2010, and first applied it in interactive toys. A video from three years ago demonstrates a couple of applications it has worked on.

Other application fields Disney Research is developing include LED-to-LED software protocol for toys, interactive LED dresses for little girls, toy and software communication systems, as well as car-to-car VLC applications.

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