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Optical camera communications: practical constraints, applications, potential challenges, and future directions

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Mobile wireless communications mainly rely on radio frequency to transmit data. However, its congested spectrum cannot meet the growing requirements for future high data rate applications. Recently, optical wireless communication techniques have opened up a vast optical spectrum and emerged as a cost-effective and practical alternative to congested radio frequency wireless technologies. As a supplementary technique of high-speed optical wireless communication, optical camera communication has become very attractive due to recent developments in communications hinging on camera or image sensors in smart devices with low implementation complexity. In conjunction with its ubiquity in consumer electronics such as pads and smartphones, optical camera communication takes advantage of an image sensor or camera in areas such as intelligent transportation, vehicular communication, motion capture, indoor localization, and the Internet of Things. Optical camera communication and visible light communication are considered in IEEE 802.15.7m standardization. Optical camera communication based on camera and organic/inorganic light emitting diodes offers localization and low-rate transmission in indoor as well as outdoor applications. This paper presents a comprehensive survey of optical camera communication, principles, and recent standardization activities. This survey covers multiple aspects of optical camera communication such as transceivers, multiple-input and multiple-output, and diversity. It outlines various applications of optical camera communication. It also addresses some practical constraints, modulation schemes, and error correction coding techniques for optical camera communication systems. Finally, in the last section of this survey, potential challenges and future research directions are presented.

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