InfoLED: Augmenting LED Indicator Lights for Device Positioning and Communication

Jackie (Junrui) Yang, James A. Landay
UIST: Proceedings of the 32nd Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, 2019
Augmented Reality (AR) has the potential to expand our capability for interacting with and comprehending our surrounding environment. However, current AR devices treat electronic appliances no different than common non-interactive objects, which substantially limits the functionality of AR. We present InfoLED, a positioning and communication system based on indicator lights that enables appliances to transmit their location, device IDs, and status information to the AR client without changing their visual design. By leveraging human insensitivity to high-frequency brightness flickering, InfoLED transmits all of that information without disturbing the original function as an indicator light. We envision InfoLED being used in three categories of application: malfunctioning device diagnosis, appliances control, and multi-appliance configuration. We conducted three user studies, measuring the performance of the InfoLED system, the human readability of the patterns and colors displayed on the InfoLED, and users' overall preference for InfoLED. The study results showed that InfoLED can work properly from a distance of up to 7 meters in indoor conditions and it did not interfere with our participants' ability to comprehend the high-level patterns and colors of the indicator light. Overall, study subjects prefer InfoLED to an ArUco 2D barcode-based baseline system and reported less cognitive load when using our system.