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Low-Power Wireless With Denseness: The Case of an Electronic Shelf Labeling System-Design and Experience

Cited 7 time in Web of Science Cited 9 time in Scopus

Ock, Jinwoo; Kim, Hongchan; Kim, Hyung-Sin; Paek, Jeongyeup; Bahk, Saewoong

Issue Date
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
IEEE Access, Vol.7, pp.163887-163897
One of the most important and recurrent tasks in managing a store is to provide accurate information of products to customers by maintaining up-to-date price tags of every item. Till today, however, updating price tags is done manually in most markets, which is labor-intensive, time-consuming, and error-prone. Adopting wirelessly reconfigurable electronic price tags could be of significant benefit to this problem. A key requirement of such a system, then, is to establish a robust, reliable, and scalable wireless communication network while spending minimal energy on thousands of densely-deployed and battery-powered price tags. In this work, we present a comprehensive study of electronic shelf labeling (ESL) system including its design and real-world deployment experiences. While the overall design turns out to be relatively straightforward, our preliminary study using 1000 real commercial e-tags reveals technical challenges in reliable and low-power wireless communication with ultra-high node density in scatter-rich indoor environments. To address the problem, we adopt multi-radio and multi-channel diversity techniques which need to modify only the gateways but significantly improve overall system performance. Our evaluation from a real-world deployment of 550 tags at an actual convenience store shows that our proposal achieves 98.51% network connectivity, 590 ms average latency for price updates, and over 5 years of e-tag lifetime. ESL system is part of the upcoming smart market era, and we see this work as a practical industrial application case study of Internet of Things technologies.
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