Spatial multiplexing for non-line-of-sight light-to-camera communications

Fan Yang*, Shining Li, Zhe Yang, Cheng Qian, Tao Gu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Light-to-Camera Communications (LCC) have emerged as a new wireless communication technology with great potential to benefit a broad range of applications. However, the existing LCC systems either require cameras directly facing to the lights or can only communicate over a single link, resulting in low throughputs and being fragile to ambient illuminant interference. We present HYCACO, a novel LCC system, which enables multiple light emitting diodes (LEDs) with an unaltered camera to communicate via the non-line-of-sight (NLoS) links. Different from other NLoS LCC systems, the proposed scheme is resilient to the complex indoor luminous environment. HYCACO can decode the messages by exploring the mixed reflected optical signals transmitted from multiple LEDs. By further exploiting the rolling shutter mechanism, we present the optimal optical frequencies and camera exposure duration selection strategy to achieve the best performance. We built a hardware prototype to demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed scheme under different application scenarios. The experimental results show that the system throughput reaches 4.5 kbps on iPhone 6s with three transmitters. With the robustness, improved system throughput and ease of use, HYCACO has great potentials to be used in a wide range of applications such as advertising, tagging objects, and device certifications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2660-2671
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Visible light communication
  • camera communication
  • rolling shutter
  • LED
  • NLoS
  • smartphone


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