Phillips Develops Indoor GPS Using Lights

Phillips Develops Indoor GPS Using Lights

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The lighting giant is working with supermarkets to develop GPS to help understand how people shop.

Do you ever feel like you are being followed or stared at while you are in the supermarket? Chances are, now you might be. Philips, the lighting giant that powers many big box retail stores, believes that they are helping you with their newest LED product. Can’t find that specific brand of nut butter that you really need? Wish someone could point you in the right direction? Your solution is coming. The company’s lighting division has developed an indoor navigation system that enables your smartphone to direct you straight towards the Nut Spreads section. In addition, the technology helps to light everything up nice and bright, and save a bucketload of cash in the process, according to BBC News.

Some other stores do something similar, like Target has an app that will sync with your local store. However, rather than use Bluetooth signals, which can drain your battery, these stores will use Phillips LED lighting. Each bulb is equipped with visible light communication (VLC), enabling it to beam out a code that’s imperceptible to the human eye. When a user opens the corresponding smartphone app and holds it horizontally, the forward-facing camera reads the VLC. Once the software knows where you’re located, it’ll follow this overhead breadcrumb trail to get you where you need to go.



As you can see in the clip, the first supermarket to sign up to the project is France’s Carrefour, which is trialling the technology at its colossal hypermarket in Lille.

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