GE turns its LED fixtures into locating beacons with the help of ByteLight

Gigaom

GE(s ge) is working with visual light communications startup ByteLight to create networked light fixtures that can communicate with your smartphones using light and Bluetooth low energy. GE will target these new LED fixtures at retail businesses, using them as location-finding beacons.

Beacons are already starting to make their way into department stores, malls and sports stadiums around the world, using Bluetooth as a kind of sonar to determine when customers are present and then interact with them. For instance, as you move through Macy’s, your phone may bring up different coupons depending on which department you’re in.

GE is demoing ByteLight's technology in its Luminaire IS LED fixture at Lightfair (source: GE) GE is demoing ByteLight’s technology in its Luminaire IS LED fixture at Lightfair (source: GE)

By adding visual light communications (VLC) to the mix, though, retailers could get much more precise location. Like Philips’ similar technology announced earlier this year, GE’s LEDs will emit different flickering light patterns undetectable to the human…

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