Foglight: Visible Light-enabled Indoor Localization System for Low-power IoT Devices

Abstract

Advances in small and low power electronics have created new opportunities for the Internet of Things (IoT), leading to an explosion of physical objects being connected to the Internet. However, there still lacks an indoor localization solution that can answer the needs of various location-based IoT applications with desired simplicity, robustness, accuracy, and responsiveness. We introduce Foglight, a visible light enabled indoor localization system for IoT devices that relies on unique spatial encoding produced when mechanical mirrors inside a projector are flipped based on gray-coded binary images. Foglight employs simple off-the-shelf light sensors that can be easily coupled with existing IoT devices – such as thermometers, gas meters, or light switches – making their location discoverable. Our sensor unit is computation efficient; it can perform high-accuracy localization with minimum signal processing overhead, allowing any low-power IoT device on which it rests to be able to locate itself. Additionally, results from our evaluation reveal that Foglight can locate a target device with an average accuracy of 1.7 millimeters and average refresh rate of 84 Hz with minimal latency, 31.46 milliseconds on WiFi and 23.2 milliseconds on serial communication. Two example applications are developed to demonstrate possible scenarios as proof of concept. We also discuss limitations, how they could be overcome, and propose next steps.