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Emerging Visible Light Communications Technology Expected to See Rapid Adoption

August 7, 2019 By Finley Engineering in

Visible light communication (VLC) is an emerging technology which enables highly secure high speed indoor networking. It’s considered an emerging alternative to Wi-Fi for specific applications. The visible light communications (VLC) industry will exceed 10 billion devices by 2023, according to a forecast from the home networking trade association Homegrid Forum.

“VLC is a wireless technology with a unique ability to support specific use cases and eliminate common issues in environments — particularly where there are concerns surrounding security,” Dauphinee said in a prepared statement. “VLC requires a line of sight between a light source and a connected device, meaning VLC eliminates the risk of data interception by outsiders which are out of sight. It offers a vastly enhanced security platform that other technologies cannot provide, which is crucial in environments where sensitive data is transmitted.”

Speaking ahead of DEF CON 27, a hacker convention that takes place immediately after Black Hat USA 2019, Dauphinee discussed the potential that VLC has for environments, such as financial institutions and military bases, where there is sensitive information that could be the target of a cyberattack.

“VLC is a wireless technology with a unique ability to support specific use cases and eliminate common issues in environments — particularly where there are concerns surrounding security,” Dauphinee said in a prepared statement. “VLC requires a line of sight between a light source and a connected device, meaning VLC eliminates the risk of data interception by outsiders which are out of sight. It offers a vastly enhanced security platform that other technologies cannot provide, which is crucial in environments where sensitive data is transmitted.”

The hybrid combination of a G.hn wired network with a VLC wireless network can provide a secure, robust, and flexible connectivity solution for any environment without requiring new infrastructure, according to the HomeGrid Forum. G.hn can use existing powerlines, coaxial cable or telephone wires and VLC can use existing LED lighting with the addition of a modulator.

 “This is an exciting time as the drive towards VLC gathers momentum. At CES, we announced HomeGrid Forum was expanding to include VLC, Smart Grids, the IoT and Connected Cars to reflect the role that a G.hn backbone can play in these technologies,” explained Dauphinee.  “The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) followed this by announcing that a new ITU standard for VLC (ITU G.9991) based on G.hn would establish the foundations for the growth of the VLC market whilst market leaders have recently announced a slew of new products using G.9991 based products.”