Cross-Technology Communications for Heterogeneous IoT Devices Through Artificial Doppler Shifts

Wei Wang, Shiyue He, Liang Sun, Tao Jiang, Qian Zhang

Recent years have seen major innovations in developing energy-efficient wireless technologies such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for Internet of Things (IoT). Despite demonstrating significant benefits in providing low power transmission and massive connectivity, hardly any of these technologies have made it to directly connect to the Internet. Recent advances demonstrate the viability of direct communication among heterogeneous IoT devices with incompatible physical (PHY) layers. These techniques, however, require modifications in transmission power or time, which may affect the media access control (MAC) layer behaviors in legacy networks. In this paper, we argue that the frequency domain can serve as a free side channel with minimal interruptions to legacy networks. To this end, we propose DopplerFi, a communication framework that enables a two-way communication channel between BLE and Wi-Fi by injecting artificial Doppler shifts, which can be decoded by sensing the patterns in the Gaussian frequency shift keying (GFSK) demodulator and Channel State Information (CSI). The artificial Doppler shifts can be compensated by the inherent frequency synchronization module and thus have a negligible impact on legacy communications. Our evaluation using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) BLE chips and 802.11-compliant testbeds have demonstrated that DopplerFi can achieve throughput up to 6.5~Kbps at the cost of merely less than 0.8% throughput loss.

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