Felipe Spinel, Ahmad Nawasrah, Connor McEwen, and Parker Fox, pictured left to right, made up the winning team at the first annual Smart Lighting Challenge, held at the Boston University School of Management.

Hi, I’m Connor (ECE ‘14) and I’m doing research with Professor Little to create a system for Visible Lighting Communication (VLC) at the Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center. VLC uses LEDs to transmit data, so it can be employed in the same manner as WiFi. I have recently been working on a PCB design for a USB VLC receiver.

With background knowledge of the technology being used, I entered the Smart Lighting Challenge with a team of three MBA students. We presented an application of VLC in grocery stores that would replace existing lighting with VLC-enabled LEDs and attach a touchscreen with a receiver to a shopping cart. This would allow it to track the movement of a shopper to provide location-based advertising and data mining (benefits for the store) while allowing the customer to easily navigate and view a shopping list made at home. LED lighting is also more efficient than traditional lighting, so the store would reduce energy costs.

I am currently working with a few other students on creating a faster system that also produces more light.

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