Visual MIMO

Camera based Optical Wireless



We live in a world where we are ever more surrounded by comunications and entertainment devices and the convergence of communications, information and entertainment has never been more apparent. The increasingly ubiquitous use of cameras and light emitting devices, for example, in cell phones, cars, laptops, music players, and surveillance systems creates an exciting novel opportunity to build camera-based optical wireless communication systems and networks based on a concept we call 'Visual MIMO'.


This inter-disciplinary project brings together a team (see people involved) with expertise in the areas of mobile networks, communications, and computer vision to analyze, design, and prototype a network stack for such visual MIMO communications. This stack addresses the fundamentally different visual channel and receiver constraints through innovative visual signal acquisition, tracking, interference cancellation, and modulation techniques at the physical layer as well as vision-aware link and MAC layer protocols.



In Visual MIMO optical transmissions by an array of light emitting devices, which we refer to as light emitting arrays (LEA), are received by an array of photo-receptor elements (e.g. pixels in a camera). Examples of LEAs include light emitting diodes (LED), pixel arrays on LCD or plasma display screens and even reflective devices such as the digital micromirrors in projectors.





Optical wireless is not only a potential low-cost alternative where it can take advantage of existing cameras and light emitting devices, but it's highly directional transmissions can present advantages over radio-frequency (RF) based wireless communications. While the optical channel differs fundamentally from the RF channel, this project recognizes that it also allows multiple spatially separated channels between an array of transmitter elements and the array of camera pixels, akin to an RF multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) system.







Ashwin Ashok

Doctoral student in ECE at WINLAB, Rutgers University
Email :


Wenjia Yuan 

(Doctoral student in ECE at WINLAB Rutgers University)
Email :



Dr. Marco Gruteser

(Associate Professor at WINLAB, Rutgers University)
Email :


Dr. Narayan Mandayam

(Professor and Associate Director at WINLAB, Rutgers University)
Email :


Dr. Kristin Dana

(Associate Professor at Dept. of ECE, Rutgers University)
Email :