Philips Develops VLC Lights For Retail Indoor Navigation

Read original story on: Engadget

Philips has developed a new indoor navigation system for retailers that uses special lights equipped with visible light communication (VLC) technology, which enables it to beam out a code imperceptible to the human eye. The corresponding smartphone app utilizes the forward-facing camera to read the VLC, thereby identifying the user’s locations and redirecting the user to where they need to go.

Among early partners is French supermarket chain Carrefour, which is already trialing the system at its flagship store in Lille. In addition to providing hyperlocal indoor navigation, the company is also reporting that the lights have helped reduce its energy bills by half.

It’s always important for retailers to explore new ways to improve the in-store experience, especially at a time when brick-and-mortar retailers are increasingly feeling the pressure from the digital competitors, such as Amazon and FreshDirect. Whether or not this new VLC lighting system will perform better than Bluetooth beacon systems, however, remains to be determined.