With the advent of high efficacy light emitting diode (LED) directional lamps as a key component in focal lighting, new possibilities emerge for re-designing the smart home scenario. A smart home scenario is characterized by enabled intelligent interworking of various wireless and wired technologies to provide inhabitants with ease of use of appliances, while creating a personalized and safe ambience space. More and more high and low data rate circulates within the indoor ambient space (e.g., home, hospitals, offices). Although, unlicensed technologies, such as wireless local area networks (WLANs) can take upon part of the indoor traffic, the ever increasing demand for such data, and users, calls for either use of licensed or novel unlicensed wireless communication technologies as part of the smart home enablers. This paper focuses on the potentials of visible light communications (VLC), jointly with radio and fiber communications, to support very dense low and high data rate connectivity, while enabling deployment of secure-sensitive indoor applications, including indoor tracking and localization. The paper proposes a scenario for integrating VLC into the smart home scenario and a conceptual supporting architecture for its deployment. Further, the technical challenges and possible roadmap for the actual deployment are analyzed for the particular case of an eHealth scenario where the utilization of VLC technology is the enabler of the costefficient rollout of the required infrastructure and thus the game-changer in a multi-billion eHealth niche that is seeking for cost affordable solutions.
Wireless Personal Communications, 2014, Vol 78, Issue 3, p. 1699-1717