Light-Based IoT

The light-based Internet of things (LIoT) concept defines nodes that exploit light to (a) power up their operation by harvesting light energy and (b) provide full-duplex wireless connectivity. In this paper, we explore the LIoT concept by designing, implementing, and evaluating the communication and energy harvesting performance of a LIoT node. The use of components based on printed electronics (PE) technology is adopted in the implementation, supporting the vision of future fully printed LIoT nodes. In fact, we envision that as PE technology develops, energy-autonomous LIoT nodes will be entirely printed, resulting in cost-efficient, flexible and highly sustainable connectivity solutions that can be attached to the surface of virtually any object. However, the use of PE technology poses additional challenges to the task, as the performance of these components is typically considerably poorer than that of conventional components. In the study, printed photovoltaic cells, printed OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes) as well as printed displays are used in the node implementation. The dual-mode operation of the proposed LIoT node is demonstrated, and its communication performance in downlink and uplink directions is evaluated. In addition, the energy harvesting system’s behaviour is studied and evaluated under different illumination scenarios and based on the results, a novel self-operating limitation aware algorithm for LIoT nodes is proposed.