It may seem like science fiction, but it is actual reality: Carrefour is trialling LED lights embedded with technology that can track shoppers in the store and send them coupons.
Pilot project in Carrefour Euralille
The 7,800 sqm remodeled Carrefour Euralille supermarket in Lille, which opened its doors yesterday, will be the spot for the pilot program. It consists of Philips' 'connected' LED lights, which use VLC (Visible Light Communication) light impulses to send information to smartphones. The lights look like every other light as its impulses are not discernible with the naked eye: they can only be captured by the built-in camera in smartphones.
Customers will have to download a specific app, currently only available on iOS, to allow the tracking. The system can then present a discount or product information on the customer's smartphone, concerning the product the customer faces.
"We are pioneers working towards energy-efficient LED lights and we are doing the same for connected lighting", Philips Lighting CEO, Eric Rondolat, said. Examples are "street lights that pass on their location and drastically lower maintenance costs; office lights that improve productivity and supermarket lights that improve customer loyalty by offering special promotions on their smartphone". Carrefour will evaluate the system after one year.