Systems and applications based on indoor positioning via led-lighting

Summary of the technology

The use of LED lamps available for lighting of different parts of a building or room in such a way as to allow the transmission of very high-frequency codes non-perceptible by humans together with the illumination lights. These codes (one unique code for each LED lamp) will be decoded by light detectors included in smart-devices, or by detectors designed particularly for this purpose. From the code information, the device positioning can be determined with high precision.

Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI

Details of the Technology Offer

Description and special features

The widespread introduction of LEDs for lighting offers an opportunity for VLP and forms the basis of a widely available, affordable and easy-to-use indoor system. In most indoor locations, a receiver could be designed to receive LOS signals from one or multiple light sources. LEDs can be modulated at much higher frequencies than conventional lighting, so the signals needed for positioning can be easily transmitted at frequencies that do not cause visible flicker.

Our general objective is to obtain an indoor positioning system that is capable of estimating the position of "smart" devices or of simple detectors designed for that purpose (receivers) from the emission of codes embedded in the lighting light of a room / building. The achievement of this system shall allow the development of multiple applications for the set-up of routes and help guiding, through the following aspects:

• Indoor positioning system based on the emission of information from the lighting LEDs, which uniquely identify each LED luminaire.

• Positioning with centimeters of accuracy in a given environment, making use of visible light beams encoded at high frequency while detecting the angles of incidence in the photo-detectors.

• Positioning algorithms that can be extended for the location in a large environment such as smart buildings.

• Applications for smart mobile devices, and portable systems that allow the processing of the different signals to obtain the positioning with accuracy, reliability, in real-time and with a reduced power consumption.


The accurate indoor position determination from lighting opens up a wide range of possibilities. The system could be applied in very different fields and applications such as museums, shopping centers, supermarkets, logistic warehouses, etc.:

  • In museums, by means of the use of mobile devices, flexible routes can be traced depending on the available time to do the visit, a specific interest or even the type of user (groups with children, etc.), in such a way that when the smart device captures the position it can show on the screen where the visitor is located and guide him/her to the next item to be visited. Additionally, if a picture or object is reached, the system could automatically download its information.
  • In shopping malls, given the precision in the indoor location, the system might provide people with routes to the desired shops.
  • In supermarkets, the list of products to be searched could be introduced in the smartphone and it would guide the user, positioning itself by means of lighting, along the optimal route until all products are picked up.
  • In logistic warehouses, the same device used for picking&pack plus a simple detector based on photodiodes might offer the operators the quickest route for the collection of multiple products.
  • In hospitals and health centers, by means of mobile devices or simple detectors, it would be possible to know the location of medical personnel, wheel-chairs, equipment, etc.

Related Keywords

  • Telecommunications, Networking
  • Signal Processing
  • Embedded Systems and Real Time Systems
  • Optical Technology related to measurements
  • Electronic measurement systems
  • Audiovisual Equipment and Communication
  • Communications Protocols, Interoperability
  • Electronics, IT and Telecomms
  • IT and Telematics Applications
  • Applications for Tourism
  • Applications for Health
  • Applications for Transport and Logistics
  • Didactic System
  • SatelliteTechnology/Systems/Positioning/Communication in GPS - Global Positioning System
  • Smart City
  • Smart grids
  • Lighting, illumination
  • Lighting and signaling system
  • Installations related to construction (energy, lighting, …)
  • Local area networks (including voice/data PBX systems)

About Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI

The Technology Transfer Office at Alcalá University serves as a liaison between the University and its socioeconomic environment in terms of research and innovation. It encorages collaboration between research groups from universities and companies/institutions, with the objective to promote and commercialize research results and scientific capabilities.

Some of the services offered by this office are specified in the following list:

- Promotion of R & D and improvement of the relationships with companies.
- Promote the participation in R & D projects applicants to public calls (regional, national and European).
- Advising, processing and monitoring of patents and other forms of industrial protection.
- Support in the negotiation of contracts and agreements for R&D&i

Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI

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