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GE, Qualcomm Develop In-Store Shopper Tracker

East Cleveland, Ohio — GE Lighting and Qualcomm’s Atheros subsidiary have created an in-store shopper tracking system for retailers.

The service works by sending unique pulse patterns to customers’ mobile devices from commercial LED lightbulbs with embedded wireless technology.

The system can pinpoint shoppers’ in-store whereabouts in real time, and allows retailers to send contextual messages to their phones or tablets to provide product information on nearby items; suggest similar items that are available online; deliver relevant coupons or special offers; and help navigate customers through the aisles.

Customers must opt in and download the retailer’s app to engage the system.

“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, GE Lighting’s global general manager, indoor location. “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.”

Qualcomm Technologies’ product management VP Dr. Cormac Conroy added that the program provides “pinpoint accuracy” and “a new level of personalization and customer service.”

The partners pointed to a recent Google study indicating that in-store shoppers are “looking for an informative, customized experience,” and that  42 percent of consumers conduct research online while in stores, which “presents a powerful opportunity for retailers to connect with consumers — and prevent them from turning to the competition,” Google said.

GE is showcasing the system this week at the Lightfair International 2015 trade show in New York.