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Geolocation via LED: Carrefour lights the way for shoppers

Econocom 9 Jun 2015

For the first time ever in the world, shoppers at the Carrefour Euralille hypermarket in Lille now have a guiding light: but we’re not talking about a guru in the fruit and veg aisle, but a location-based LED system developed by Philips.



Philips has just finished installing 2.5 kilometres of LED lighting in a newly-renovated hypermarket. In addition to lighting the store, the lighting fixtures act as a positioning grid which points customers to special offers on in the shop.

Carrefour et la géolocalisation par LED Philips

With the “Promo C-où” app, available for free from App Store, customers can, with just a few clicks, make a shopping list including any special offers on. Then, once they get to the store, the app helps them locate the products chosen. Marlène Tissé, Retail Marketing Manager for Philips, explains:

“Our technology uses VLC (Visible Light Communication). Each diode emits a unique code that is detected by all devices with a camera, without needing any specific accessories.”

 It works like an indoor positioning system: the LEDs send a one-way signal to smartphones with the dedicated app. To do so, the diodes switch off and on very quickly to change the light in a way that is invisible to the human eye but can be detected by a smartphone’s camera.



 A BRILLIANT innovation

For Carrefour, VLC is an opportunity to offer clients location-based services to ensure a more interactive, personalised shopping experience on the one hand, whilst making substantial energy savings thanks to the LED – a guaranteed return on investment.



Further reading:

#Retail and the beacon phenomenon

Frederic Granotier: LED is disruptive technology that will soon replace traditional lighting


Photo credit: Dylan_Payne – fun at the supermarket! / / Licence CC BY 2.0

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