Blinking LEDs, a potential solution to improve Augmented Reality interactability

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Augmented Reality has the potential to expand our interaction with our surrounding environment. A potential solution to improve this interactability is Visible Light Communication through blinking Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). Data is encoded and then transmitted by blinking the LED, a smart-phone camera is then pointed at the LED to decode the message from the blinking light. The light must blink at a high enough frequency, otherwise the blinking LED causes flicker which has negative health risks. In this research, an experiment is conducted to check the viability of this technology, by transmitting a message to multiple phones with different recording frame rates and checking whether the technology functions adequately for each frame rate. The viability is checked through multiple factors, with the most important one being flicker, due to the negative health risks. If there is no flicker, the throughput of the LED at that frame rate and blinking frequency is checked at multiple distances. The results show that only the highest recording frame rate used in the experiment is viable and that the ones below all cause flicker. This makes it hard to consider the technology viable, due to it only functioning on a limited amount of smartphones.