GE Lighting Develops Technology to Send Offers to Shoppers via LED Lighting

Here at Expert Electrical, we’re big fans of LED technology – and now we like it even more. A US start-up, ByteLight, has developed a marketing platform which allows retailers to use the LED lights installed in their shops to send offers to shoppers, direct them to particular products and provide them with information, all based on their precise location in the store.

LED and Bluetooth Combine

The service operates by combining GE’s Luminaire IS LED lighting technology with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), device sensors and Visual Light Communication (VLC) systems. VLC is a data communications medium that harvests visual light between 400 and 800 THz and uses it to pass information between stores and their customers. All that shoppers need to do is download an app to an iOS or Android smartphone with either a camera or Bluetooth Smart, and they’re set to go.

You’re probably wondering how exactly the technology works. Well, the ByteLight-enabled LED fixture transmits a unique light pattern that is picked up by the smartphone, and then uses the app to notify the ByteLight platform of the shopper’s location with sub-meter accuracy and sub-second latency. When retailers integrate this into their digital marketing system, they are able to use the location data to provide information tailored to the individual customer.

Retailers can use their location data in a number of ways. Retailer GE suggests using it to:

  • Welcome repeat customers with personalised shopping lists as they approach the store, and then provide them with an easy-to-follow map to the items on it.
  • Offer coupons and promotions based on a shopper’s position and direction in the aisle and their shopping history.
  • Present customer reviews, play product information videos and connect on demand with virtual store associates to make brand choice easier.

The company has stated that: “ByteLight’s indoor location technology embedded inside GE LED lighting fixtures will deliver high-value applications to retailers, providing the ability to understand the precise location of shoppers using an opt-in application powered by ByteLight on their smartphones and tablets.”

“The comprehensive approach enables retailers to reach a broad number of shoppers across the largest area – from the parking lot to anywhere in the store there is LED light. As a result, retailers can achieve continuous return on investment (ROI) on their conversion to GE LED lighting while providing a strategic platform for the connected retail store of the future.”

Similar technology has also been developed by the company’s rival Philips. This allows location-based data to be communicated to shoppers using VLC via a smartphone. Customers can then select a recipe or individual item and receive directions to the aisle in which the product they want is located. With such a large company investing in LED technology, could it be that LED lighting represents the future of retail around the world?

About the Author: Chris Horridge