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Shopping at light speed in Dubai, with Philips Lighting

Philips Lighting announces its first connected lighting indoor positioning win in the Middle East with United Arab Emirates (UAE) based retailer aswaaq, one of the world’s most innovative supermarkets and community malls. The new system uses lights that act as a positioning system which allows customers to use smartphones to access new location based services. This empowers the retailer to provide a smooth shopping experience for their customers, which may help boost sales and customer loyalty. Working with Philips on the project is Aisle411, a leader in digital store mapping. Philips Lighting is partnering with the US company to extend its indoor positioning offering to deliver a comprehensive end-to-end capability, including professional services such as digital store mapping, product search and analytics.

The system works by the individual light points transmitting their location through a modulation of light (a technology called Visible Light Communication) that is imperceptible to the human eye but detected by the customer’s smart phone camera. Once the customer downloads the retailer’s app they can choose to access location-based services, such as locate items on their shopping list to an accuracy of 30cm. The data stream is one-way and no personal data is collected by the lighting system.

Since the beginning, aswaaq has been focused on technology to achieve a competitive edge. By installing Philips LED-based indoor positioning technology in its Al Bada’a supermarket, Dubai, aswaaq will benefit from a 50% reduction in lighting-based energy consumption, maintenance cost savings and a reduction in its carbon footprint. At the same time, aswaaq customers will benefit from navigating its aisles more easily and accessing new services via their smartphones.

The Philips LED-based indoor positioning system enables customers to use the retailer’s app to receive information relevant to the items around them such as special offers and even look up prices of items on their phone instead of on the shelves. Retail shop managers can use the system to identify the most popular areas of the store to better place products, as well as help streamline tasks such as stock checks and restocking shelves.

Philips Lighting is now offering retailers both the lighting infrastructure to deliver the world’s most precise indoor positioning system, as well as the mobile platform and indoor mapping services needed to enable shoppers to quickly find products. To help do this Philips has signed a partnership with Aisle411, a leader in digital store mapping, product search and analytics. Philips will also partner with other companies on location based services for retailers.

Aisle 411 and Philips Lighting will work together on the aswaaq project which is due for completion in summer 2016.

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