Electronics

Supermarket's "indoor sat-nav" guides shoppers to discounts

A newly-refurbished Carrefour hypermarket in Lille, France, has had its fluorescent lighting replaced with LED fixtures containing Philips Visible Light Communication technology
A newly-refurbished Carrefour hypermarket in Lille, France, has had its fluorescent lighting replaced with LED fixtures containing Philips Visible Light Communication technology
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A newly-refurbished Carrefour hypermarket in Lille, France, has had its fluorescent lighting replaced with LED fixtures containing Philips Visible Light Communication technology
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A newly-refurbished Carrefour hypermarket in Lille, France, has had its fluorescent lighting replaced with LED fixtures containing Philips Visible Light Communication technology
The LED-based technology acts like a sat-nav for shoppers
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The LED-based technology acts like a sat-nav for shoppers
Shoppers can use the accompanying Carrefour app to locate themselves within the supermarket
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Shoppers can use the accompanying Carrefour app to locate themselves within the supermarket
The accompanying app provides in-store directions to shopping list items via an app running on a smartphone
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The accompanying app provides in-store directions to shopping list items via an app running on a smartphone
The user shows up on a map in the same way as they would on a sat-nav
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The user shows up on a map in the same way as they would on a sat-nav
The system can also be used to offer promotions to shoppers
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The system can also be used to offer promotions to shoppers

A supermarket in France has become the first in the world to install an "indoor positioning system" created by Philips. The LED-based technology acts like a sat-nav for shoppers, providing in-store directions to shopping list items via their phones.

Carrefour is one of the world's largest retailers. At its newly-refurbished hypermarket in Lille, fluorescent lighting has been replaced with 800 linear LED fixtures totaling 2.5 km (1.6 mi).

In addition to reducing the store's electricity usage by a projected 50 percent, the LED lighting has integrated Philips' Visible Light Communication technology. Using this, the light produced by each luminaire transmits a unique code that is undetectable to the human eye.

The code can, however, be picked picked up by the camera on shopper’s smartphone and read by Carrefour's accompanying iOS mobile app. Using the app, it is possible for shoppers to find out exactly where they're located in the huge store, navigate the 7,800 sq m (84,000 sq ft) shop-floor to find items they need and also be directed to promotions and products that are on offer.

The user shows up on a map in the same way as they would on a sat-nav
The user shows up on a map in the same way as they would on a sat-nav

In addition to the LED fixtures, the system comprises a cloud-based location database and a software development kit. Using the development kit, customers of Philips can build upon the location data to create their own tailored applications.

The system and accompanying app is available for store customers to use from today. The new system is outlined in the video below.

Source: Philips

Philips LED indoor positioning technology at Carrefour

2 comments
Bob Flint
But does it tell you if item is in stock or not? Bad enough wandering around shopping, now digital zombies will shuffle along staring @ their screens occasionally peering up to pick items off the shelves. Usually you remember the items location, unless they keep changing inventory around.
Stephen N Russell
Needed for: Target Sears Malls. Museums. Other big box stores. Loews Home Depot etc Most retail chains