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Electronics 2019, 8(7), 788;

Visible Light Communication and Positioning: Present and Future
Department of Electronic and Information Science, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230027, Anhui, China
Received: 25 June 2019 / Accepted: 11 July 2019 / Published: 15 July 2019

1. Introduction

Future wireless communication may extend its spectrum to visible light due to its potential large bandwidth. It serves as a promising candidate for high-speed, line-of-sight communication. Besides, due to its lack of electromagnetic radiation and immunity to electromagnetic interference, the visible light spectrum can be deployed for the industrial Internet of Things. Its limited transmission range can alleviate the interference issue and can lead to ultra-dense transmitter and receiver deployment. Current research into visible light communication includes the experimental demonstration of high-speed communication systems [1,2], beamforming optimization [3], the physical-layer secrecy problem [4], and multi-user coverage [5].
Besides communication, the limited transmission range can lead to high positioning accuracy, especially for indoor visible light positioning (VLP). The received signal strength (RSS)-based VLP using photodiode and the angle of arrival (AOA)-based VLP using camera are two mainstream approaches. While the former approach can achieve a positioning accuracy of several centimeters, the latter one can achieve a positioning accuracy within one centimeter. A summary of current progress on indoor visible light positioning is shown in the Table 1.
For a more comprehensive overview of visible light communication and positioning, the readers may refer to [18,19], respectively.

2. The Present Issue

The present issue, named "Visible Light Communication and Positioning", focuses on visible light communication and visible light positioning, in which four papers explore visible light communication and three papers investigate visible light positioning.
For visible light communication, the published works focus on the devices, the physical-layer techniques, and system work aspects. In [20], the light-to-frequency converter for VLC is characterized. In [21,22], the physical-layer non-orthogonal multiple access and multi-color VLC, respectively, are addressed. In [23], the system-level VLC based on the software-defined radio with intelligent transportation and indoor applications is addressed.
Besides VLC, in [24,25,26], visible light positioning is explored. A fingerprint-based indoor positioning system for multiple reflections is proposed in [24]. To address the issue of non-perfect LED deployment, in [25], the impact of LED tilt on visible light positioning accuracy is analyzed. Moreover, a mobile optoelectronic tracking system based on feedforward control is investigated in [26].

3. Future

While this special issue focuses on visible light communication and visible light positioning, more fundamental works into joint performance optimization need future work. For example, the impact of LED layout on the communication performance and the positioning accuracy, as well as the related joint optimization for both communication and positioning, remains to be investigated.


First of all, we would like to thank all researchers who submitted articles to this special issue for their excellent contributions. We are also grateful to all reviewers who helped in the evaluation of the manuscripts and made very valuable suggestions to improve the quality of contributions. We would like to acknowledge the editorial board of Electronics, who invited us to guest edit this special issue. We are also grateful to the Electronics Editorial Office staff who worked thoroughly to maintain the rigorous peer-review schedule and timely publication.

Conflicts of Interest

The author declares no conflicts of interest.


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Table 1. Summary of current progress on indoor visible light positioning. RSS: received signal strength; AOA: angle of arrival.
Table 1. Summary of current progress on indoor visible light positioning. RSS: received signal strength; AOA: angle of arrival.
Ref.AlgorithmAccuracy (cm)Number of TX LEDsReceiver RealizationLED Height (cm)Note
[6]RSS2.43Single PD60
[7]1.663100Compensation of Positioning Error
[8]Finger Print52Camera167Image Sensor Acceleration
[9]AOA1.53472Error Cancellation
[12]Bayesian0.864190Industrial Camera, Optical Compensation
[13]Differential43100Differential Detection
[14]Image Processing<1024300Fisheye Camera
[16]13231Shift and Rotation based on a Reference Point
[17]Differential AOA<64113Unknown Tilting Angle

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