VLC Technology Supported by G.hn to Boost Smart Home/City Adoption

  • HomeGrid Forum (HGF)

BEAVERTON, OR — Visible light communication (VLC), modulated with G.hn technology, is set to be the next major innovation in realizing the full potential of both the Smart Home and the Smart City, according to the HomeGrid Forum, an industry alliance that that promotes G.hn, a gigabit home networking technology based on ITU-Tstandards. G.hn technology has the flexibility to run over any medium. Wireless joins the ranks of powerline, coax, twisted pair and plastic optical fiber (POF) as a G.hn medium.

“VLC has great potential for Smart Homes with high density connectivity needs, especially where sensitive data needs to be transmitted between multiple connected devices within one room, because the light spectrum provides low latency and avoids the kind of interruption that can sometimes happen with radio frequency spectrum during congestion time,” said Livia Rosu, marketing chair of HomeGrid Forum. “It supports larger bandwidths, it can act as both a source and receiver, it has low power consumption, enhanced security and is easy to install. This is why the market is growing at such an unprecedented rate and is expected to exceed ten billion devices by 2023.”

Complementing Wireless Technologies
VLC and Wi-Fi are both wireless technologies that complement each other. “Wi-Fi provides greater freedom of movement, as signals can extend throughout the home and through walls, to ensure full home coverage for consumers,” Livia said. “VLC requires a line of sight between a lightbulb LED transceiver and a connected device, meaning that it cannot pass through walls. In other words, for environments such as schools and hospitals, VLC reduces electromagnetic interference, therefore not affecting sensitive devices. For airports or government buildings, where there is more sensitive information that can be a target of cyberattack, VLC eliminates the risk of data interception by outsiders which are out of sight, therefore offering a vastly enhanced security platform.”

For Visible Light Communication to reach its full connectivity potential, in-premises networking must provide a strong backbone for the access points to support the capabilities of VLC. HomeGrid Forum’s G.hn wireline technology provides the most reliable backbone for both VLC and Wi-Fi media, according to each use case and the corresponding requirements.

Rosu added that the Smart Grid market was expected to grow from $23.8 billion to $61.3 billion by 2023, to facilitate smart cities’ evolution. “G.hn augments spectrum usage and provides security enhancements in addition to everything else. VLC has enormous potential and G.hn system vendors are fully prepared to embrace and support the new technology wave.”

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