1st ACM Workshop on Visible Light Communication Systems

September 7, 2014, Maui, Hawaii

In conjunction with ACM MobiCom 2014

The Future of VLC: Potential and Limitations

Maite Brandt-Pearce, Professor, University of Virginia


Visible light communication (VLC) is based on modulating inexpensive LEDs that are simultaneously used for illumination. This dual-use approach can offer energy-efficient connectivity as well as high throughput due to the huge unregulated optical spectrum. Since light is easily contained, VLC systems can also exploit spatial resource reuse to effectively form dense networks. Future applications range from mobile Wi-Fi alternatives for large indoor spaces to vehicular communication networks. Although the potential benefits are phenomenal, there are also substantial limitations that must be considered and resolved to best take advantage of the technology. VLC systems suffer from the limited modulation bandwidth of inexpensive LEDs in addition to intersymbol-interference imposed by channel multipath. Spatial reuse requires complex distribution networks that create data transmission bottlenecks. Lighting features must be preserved, further restricting the VLC system. In this talk we explore the potential of this new technology within the context of practical limitations, and present some visions for the future of VLC.

Download the keynote presentation here.

Speaker Bio

 Dr. Maite Brandt-Pearce received her B.S. in Electrical Engineering, with a double major in Applied Mathematics, from Rice University in 1985. She completed an M.E.E. in 1989 and the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1993, both also from Rice University. She worked with Lockheed in support of NASA Johnson Space Center from 1985 until 1989. In 1993, Dr. Brandt-Pearce joined the Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Virginia, where she is currently a full Professor. In 2005 she spent her sabbatical at the Eurecom Institute in Sophia Antipolis, France. Dr. Brandt-Pearce is the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, an NSF RIA, and an ORAU Junior Faculty Enhancement Award. She is a co-recipient of Best Paper Awards at the ICC 2006 Symposium on Optical Systems and Networks. She is a member of Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and a senior member of the IEEE. She was an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Communications from 1999 to 2006. She has served on the technical program committee for numerous conferences and was the 2009 General Chair for the Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems, and Computers. Dr. Brandt-Pearce currently has over 100 technical papers.