My LiFi research in France continues. Why France? There is more LiFi installed in France than the rest of the world combined—and I am determined to find out why.
Today, I visited E.Leclerc in a western suburb of Paris. The store and products can be compared to a very upscale Super Walmart; they sell everything from prepared food, to raw fish to clothes, and even iPads.
The LiFi-enabled fixtures have already been installed in this particular store and E.Leclerc is in the process of implementing one-way LiFi (Visible Light Communications). Instead of using a phone camera to receive the LiFi signal, this particular location will have a receiver built into the cart and will track the cart rather than the person. There are strict tracking laws in all of Europe and tracking a shopping cart is less restrictive and far less intrusive. The project manager showed me a real-time heat map that allowed us to see where the customers were congregating. The Geo-positioning data is critical to the store manager as it provides knowledge of where people congregate at different times of the day and can also help validate various in-store promotions.
This was the first working in-store application I have seen for Omni-Directional LiFi (VLC) and it was spectacular.