The technology uses pulses of light, which are picked up by consumers’ smartphone cameras in order to determine their physical location. Simply, while iBeacon uses Bluetooth Low Energy (radio waves), Philips’ technology uses light waves.
Philips claims that the technology can pinpoint location down to 1m. It seems Philips will also have dedicated software that can add the location-tracking features to any app.
Because the technology depends on light waves reaching the camera on a shopper’s phone, it seems that there is potential that the usefulness of the tech is stymied by phones in purses and pockets.
Philips has stated that they see many applications for smart lights beyond retail, in indoor settings like office buildings, for example.
If you’re interested in seeing the technology in action, check out the brief video demo below, and let us know your thoughts on “smart lights” versus iBeacon!