When was the last time you were in a big Supermarket you are unfamiliar with? I remember this time I went down coast to a pay a visit to a close pal whose wife had delivered. I had to rush to Nakumatt Likoni to buy some gifts for the baby. Although I had been familiar with the supermarket as it was my shopping point for the two years I lived in Mombasa, this time I could not even remember where the grocery section was, not even baby clothing that I badly needed.
The problem with not knowing where the items were was that my pal was waiting to pick me up and I had promised him I’d be at the meet up point in ten minutes, and I also did not want him to know that I did not travel with the gifts…to hurry up in buying the items, I had to constantly bother supermarket attendants in giving me directions to where I could pick the diapers, or the baby towel, or the lotion, or the gift card. Together with long queues at the tellers, I ended up spending more than 45 minutes in the Supermarket.
Philips wants to change the stresses of not knowing where to pick for your times in the large Supermarkets by enabling the LED lights in Supermarket’s ceilings to give direction to users. Philips wants to make the LED lights send pulses of light that broadcast broadband signal to shopper’s smartphones, so that a shopper is given direction of where to pick items needed. The shopper would of course have downloaded the Supermarket’s App to their phones.
This is how the tracking LED lights is set to work. 1. The shopper downloads the Supermarket’s App to his phone. The App has a list of items to be shopped for. He chooses an item e.g. Grocery using the App. 2. He walks into the store with the App active. 3. The tracking LED lights in the store connects to his smarthpone and notice his position in the store and the items he wants to buy. 4. The LED lights sends to his phone the route to the grocery section plus recommendation of items to buy for a discount. 5. When new items are selected, new routes and recommendations are set. 6. According to position of a shopper in the store, the tracking LED lights also recommend items to buy for a discount from the current location.
The project is currently being piloted in Europe.