Overcoming IoT Language Barriers Using Smartphone SDRs

Yongtae Park, Seungho Kuk, Inhye Kang, Hyogon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In the Internet of Things (IoT) era, smartphones are expected to frequently interact with IoT devices and even facilitate various IoT applications. Due to limited roles, energy constraints, etc., however, IoT devices may use mission-Tailored or proprietary wireless protocols that smartphones do not speak natively. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to the wireless 'language barrier' problem between the smartphones and IoT devices of the future. We first demonstrate that smartphones have become powerful enough to process software defined radio (SDR) for some known wireless protocols. Moreover, we show that the SDRs can be packaged as 'apps' and be downloaded from app stores for OS-independent deployment. Second, we show different SDR protocols on the smartphone can concurrently run through a shared RF to serve multi-Tasked applications on it as might happen in diversified IoT environments. For proof-of-concept, we implement a prototype architecture that has all the SDR logic and supporting middleware on an Android smartphone which uses a USRP as the simple RF-end. Finally, we demonstrate that IEEE 802.11p and IEEE 802.15.4 SDRs on a smartphone, respectively, communicate with a ZigBee sensor mote, a ZigBee smart lightbulb, and a commercial Wireless Access in Vehicular Environment (WAVE) device, concurrently.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7479532
Pages (from-to)816-828
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korean Government NLRL 2011-0028892

Publisher Copyright:
© 2002-2012 IEEE.


  • IEEE 802.11p
  • IEEE 802.15.4
  • Internet-of-Things (IoT)
  • implementation
  • smartphone
  • software-defined radio (SDR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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