Target is the latest retailer taking major steps to deploy IoT technologies in its stores. Lux reported that Target has deployed LED ceiling lights that are designed to track in-store customers, provide promotions and guide them to relevant products, all via shoppers’ smartphones.
The LED lights, currently in 100 Target stores, transmit wireless signals to provide in-store location information to customers who are using a Target app with an Android phone. Target has not indicated whether the lights support communication with iPhones.
Lux first reported in April that Target was testing the in-store IoT devices with LED lighting, part of a technology called visible light communication (VLC). VLC encodes product information in the flickering wavelengths of LED light — which moves so fast it is imperceptible to the human eye — and transmits that information to the camera of a user’s phone.
Target has not revealed the technology provider of the VLC service.
The retailer is dabbling more in the consumer product side of IoT devices as well. In July, Target opened its Target Open House connected home lab and retail store in San Francisco, which showcases IoT technology designed for the home. Target recently partnered with Indiegogo to introduce connected home technologies and now offers products from brands such as Flic, SmartThings, Sense by Hello and Sonos.