Low-power radio-optical beacons for in-view recognition

Ashwin Ashok, Chenren Xu, Tam Vu, Marco Gruteser, Richard Howard, Yanyong Zhang, Narayan Mandayam, Wenjia Yuan, Kristin Dana

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Object recognition on wearable devices using computer vision is too energy intensive and challenging when objects are similar looking, while low-power active radio frequency identification (RFID) systems suffer from imprecise orientation (angle and distance) estimates. To address this challenge, this paper presents a novel radio-optical based recognition system where a radio-optical transmitter, or tag, that emits a beacon whose infra-red (IR) signal strength is used for accurate relative orientation tracking of tagged objects at a wearable radio-optical receiver. A low-power radio link that conveys identity is used to reduce the battery drain by synchronizing the radio-optical transmitter and receiver so that extremely short optical pulses are sufficient for precise orientation estimation. Through extensive experiments with our prototype we show that our system can achieve orientation estimates with 1-2° accuracy and within 40cm ranging error, with a maximum range of 9m in typical indoor use cases. With a tag battery power consumption of 86μW, t h e radio-optical tags show potential to achieve about half a decade lifetimes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2015 IEEE 82nd Vehicular Technology Conference, VTC Fall 2015 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781479980918
StatePublished - Jan 25 2016
Event82nd IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference, VTC Fall 2015 - Boston, United States
Duration: Sep 6 2015Sep 9 2015

Publication series

Name2015 IEEE 82nd Vehicular Technology Conference, VTC Fall 2015 - Proceedings


Other82nd IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference, VTC Fall 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Hardware and Architecture


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