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posted by Dopefish on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the now-that's-a-bright-idea dept.

Lagg writes:

"Philips put out a press release detailing their new retail lighting system, which is designed for the purpose of saving power by tracking subjects in a room, then increasing or decreasing light intensity as needed. Philips also advertises a secondary feature for providing location based sale adverts to the customer directly on their smartphone. This will require the user to install an app to actually receive the sale alerts, but it's unclear exactly how this tracking will be done otherwise.

Any home automation types in the comments have a theory as to how this will work on a technical level? My best guess is that there are infrared LEDs paired with the lighting fixtures themselves that can be picked up by phones with IR sensors in them. Further, what advantages does this sort of system have in terms of lighting efficiency that an electric eye setup wouldn't accomplish just as well?"

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Random2 on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:17PM

    by Random2 (669) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:17PM (#2511)

    I've been hearing about all these in-store apps recently, but does anyone actually use them? Especially for something like this, which would require the store to redo a significant portion of their lighting just for a 'more personalized experience', is there enough support of this to actually make it worthwhile?

    If only I registered 3 users earlier....
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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Lagg on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:26PM

    by Lagg (105) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:26PM (#2524) Homepage Journal
    I imagine that would depend on the return on investment the store gets from the direct purchases via the adverts and possible sale of whatever tracking data is viable. I mean there's nothing there that would indicate they'd sell shopper pattern data but honestly I'd be more surprised if they didn't. Exploitation of shopper patterns and routes has been happening for decades and this can potentially make it that much more profitable since I'm sure they'd love to see exactly what, where and when people buy something opposed to the current general understanding that shoppers are likely to do impulse buys near the entrance and proceed on a counterclockwise route around the store and then trickle into the isles (or maybe clockwise if you're in the UK). But all one can do is guess right now since the press release is so goddamned vague and offers no technical details, not even where the IR emitter will be.
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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by SpallsHurgenson on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:47PM

    by SpallsHurgenson (656) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:47PM (#2537)

    Several of the big box stores in my area (east coast USA) use them; I've noticed lights dimming and brightening as people moved about the store. In some cases they did this with actual dimmers, in other cases some (but not all) of the overhead lights were shut off, which created a similar effect. A few seemed to be based on motion detectors (stand still long enough and the lights dimmed), others seemed more sophisticated. At least one store seemed to dim the lights automatically based on how many people were in an aisle (nobody: very dim, just me: reduced lighting, two or more people: normal lighting).

    No idea as to the specifics of the system, although I don't think any of the lights were LED. Other than that (and the creepy advertising thing), the Phillips systems does not seem that extraordinarily new in concept.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by ArhcAngel on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:51PM

    by ArhcAngel (654) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:51PM (#2596)

    I've been to a couple of grocery chain stores that have replaced their cold storage displays with units that have the tech built in. It's a little off putting at first but once you figure out what is happening you get used to it. I've seen kids running down the frozen pizza aisle seeing if they can beet the sensors or just light up a totally dark aisle all by themselves...OK it was me being a kid but you get the point.

    • (Score: 1) by Hunkerchef on Thursday February 20 2014, @01:28AM

      by Hunkerchef (2039) on Thursday February 20 2014, @01:28AM (#3039)

      With enough individual lights the future will be like in games, where the character emanates a light from inside himself, wherever he goes. It would feel uncanny.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by gull on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:45PM

    by gull (1893) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:45PM (#2726)

    the worst thing is when you're spending some quality time in a washroom stall (e.g. bad burrito for lunch) and the motion tracking lights go off, leaving you helpless in the dark.

    sometimes progress goes 'boink'.