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Networked Lights Connect to Smartphones, Lead Shoppers

  • Reuters, Friday, November 13, 2015 2:09 PM

The strip lights in the hypermarket know where you are, and can tell you where to go. The new technology being trailed by French retailer Carrefour tracks your movements and beams data to your smartphone via light pulses undetectable to the eye, to guide you to the right shelves for tailored special offers. It is the latest attempt to combine the online and real-world shopping experience, regarded as the holy grail for the industry at the moment. As part of a new loyalty scheme launched last month, for example, Britain's Marks and Spencer is sending promotional text messages to shoppers who are in or near its stores - but only those who have agreed to receive them. In fact almost three-quarters of British retailers are using technology, including facial recognition software, to track customers in stores, according to a survey of retail executives by IT services firm CSC. It is mostly for security purposes, but also to help provide a more personalized service.

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