February 17, 2014
Grocery Store Experience Enhanced With Philips’ Intelligent Lighting
[ Watch the Video: Grocery Shopping With Intelligent Lighting ]
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Philips said on Monday that its new intelligent lighting system “gives new meaning to personalized shopping.”
“The system uses intelligent LED in-store lighting to communicate location-based information to shoppers via a smartphone app which they can opt to download. The lighting communicates with the app to send special offers and information to the shopper, relevant to their location in the store,” Philips said in a statement.
The system will give shoppers more personal control essentially by using the lighting fixtures as a dense network to provide a grid of information. Each of the fixtures is able to communicate its position to an app on a shopper’s smartphone, enabling the customer to get information related to their position in the store as they move around.
Philips’ system uses what is called visual light communications (VLC), turning the LEDs into a port for data transfer. LEDs are able to turn on and off at such fast rates that the human eye cannot even see the flickering. This allows for information to pass in one direction, from light to phone. The smartphones would have to be able to “see” the light in order for the VLC to work.
For example, shoppers wanting to make some guacamole for dinner will be able to use an app on their device to locate the ingredients in the aisle. The system will help plot out the route through the grocery store to help pick out the avocados, tomatoes, onions, chilies and limes. The app will also offer up advertisements and coupons for shoppers, or make some suggestions for additional recipes.
“The beauty of the system is that retailers do not have to invest in additional infrastructure to house, power and support location beacons for indoor positioning,” Gerben van der Lugt from Philips Lighting, said in a statement. “The light fixtures themselves can communicate this information by virtue of their presence everywhere in the store.”
Philips says that its system is being piloted with an unspecified number of retailers, but the company hasn’t detailed when it will be launching the system on a wide scale.
Image 2 (Below): Infographic of new lighting system. Credit: Philips