Optical technologies for the Internet of Things era

Ryuichi Katayama, Yuzuru Takashima, Philip N. Ji

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of interrelated physical objects that can collect and exchange data with one another through embedded electronics, software, sensors, over the Internet. It extends Internet connectivity beyond traditional networking devices to a diverse range of physical devices and everyday things that utilize embedded technologies to communicate and interact with the external environment. The IoT brings automation and efficiency improvement to everyday life, business, and society. Therefore IoT applications and market are growing rapidly. Contrary to common belief that IoT is only related to wireless technology, optical technologies actually play important roles in the growth of IoT and contribute to its advancement. Firstly, fiber optics provides the backbone for transporting large amount of data generated by IoT network in the core, metro and access networks, and in building or in the physical object. Secondly, optical switching technologies, including all-optical switching and hybrid optical-electrical switching, enable fast and high bandwidth routing in IoT data processing center. Thirdly, optical sensing and imaging delivers comprehensive information of multiple physical phenomena through monitoring various optical properties such as intensity, phase, wavelength, frequency, polarization, and spectral distribution. In particular, fiber optic sensor has the advantages of high sensitivity, low latency, and long distributed sensing range. It is also immune to electromagnetic interference, and can be implemented in harsh environment. In this paper, the architecture of IoT is described, and the optical technologies and their applications in the IoT networks are discussed with practical examples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical Data Storage 2017
Subtitle of host publicationFrom New Materials to New Systems
EditorsRyuichi Katayama, Yuzuru Takashima
ISBN (Electronic)9781510612259
StatePublished - 2017
EventOptical Data Storage 2017: From New Materials to New Systems, ODS 2017 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 6 2017 → …

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherOptical Data Storage 2017: From New Materials to New Systems, ODS 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period8/6/17 → …


  • Internet of Things
  • data center network
  • fiber optics
  • optical networking
  • optical sensor
  • optical switching
  • optical transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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