"Mom, turn right for the candy - AND HURRY!" We’ve seen Korean supermarket chain Emart (KRX:139480) do some innovative stuff before, like its shadowy QR codes. But this time Emart is trying something more substantive - using smartphones and LED lights to guide shoppers around their stores and lead them to discounts. Dubbed ‘Emart Sale Navigation’, the idea is a combination of car-like GPS with a location-based discounts app. But rather than actually relying on GPS (which could be unreliable indoors), the Korean supermarket is using special LED lights on the ceiling to send information to lenses attached to shopping carts. Then, so long as you have the Emart app on your Android phone and it’s attached to the shopping cart on the special plastic arm shown in the pictures, you’ll be guided around the aisles by dedicated indoor maps. If you pass an area where there’s a discount coupon available, that’ll pop up on-screen: It’s all pretty clever and actually simpler than it sounds. For consumers it’s pretty straightforward, as all you need to do is have the app on your phone and then attach it to your cart. Emart itself sorts out the lenses and the lights, so shoppers don’t need to worry about compatibility issues. It avoids other technologies like NFC and QR codes which tend to be either fragmented across devices or just too damn confusing for most people. So one single app in this project from Emart makes it all intelligible and fairly easy. ( See: China’s Yihaodian Plans 1,000 Virtual AR Supermarkets Where You’ll Shop With Your Smartphone’s Camera ) If you’re in South Korea, grab the Emart sale navigation Android app and then head out to do some shopping; or check out the two-minute demo video (in English) here:
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