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GE Lighting, Qualcomm to transform store experience with connected lighting


East Cleveland, Ohio -- GE Lighting and Qualcomm Atheros, a subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc., have announced a collaboration to bring indoor positioning technology to retailers, allowing the retailers to pinpoint shoppers’ locations and use mobile apps to personalize the in-store experience.

The technology, which is embedded in new GE commercial LED bulbs, creates unique pulse patterns to “talk” to shoppers’ smartphones and tablets. It identifies the location of shoppers inside the store within centimeters, and then allows the retailer to send messages to the shoppers based on their location.

This high-accuracy, real-time connection will allow retailers to combine contextual information with location to create revolutionary new tools such as indoor navigation, infinite aisle, suggested items, product information, and special offers or coupons to those who opt in and download the retailer’s app.

“Today’s consumers want a customized experience — from the news they read, to the games they play, to the products they buy, they expect technology-driven personalization,” said Jeff Bisberg, global general manager, Indoor Location, GE Lighting. “Working with Qualcomm Atheros, GE is harnessing the power of our commercial LED lighting to give retailers the opportunity to create an enhanced experience for shoppers securely, while respecting their privacy.”

A Google study confirms that consumers want more information and customized experiences during the shopping journey, GE noted. The study found 71% of shoppers who use smartphones for research said their devices have become more important to their in-store experiences. Meanwhile, two in three shoppers who tried to find information within a store didn't find what they needed, and 4% left frustrated.

“Enabling retailers to provide shoppers contextual services, with pinpoint accuracy, will introduce a new level of personalization and customer service,” said Dr. Cormac Conroy, VP of product management, Qualcomm Technologies. “We look forward to supporting GE Lighting to commercialize this technology and to make possible a new level of indoor location and context experience.”

In addition to the retail industry, GE’s LED lighting-based indoor positioning systems could also see application in airports, hotels, hospitals and other environments.

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