Target, Walmart, Macy's and other retailers have already deployed parts of the hybrid indoor positioning solution with in-store WiFi, BLE beacons, and LED ceiling lights' Visible Light Communication (VLC). This hybrid solution is the best approach for enabling indoor location and proximity marketing and other proximity services as it leverages what the shopper enabled on her smartphone and maximizes the reach. Moreover, BLE beacons are integrated into the ceiling lights fixtures, which solves for the beacon battery power supply and operations (i.e., deployment) limitation that has been slowing the market adoption of the beacon phenomenon.
As shown in the video, the shopper generates her shopping list at home using her tablet (or desktop). This shopping list syncs with her Target app. When she enters the Target store, the indoor location tech (in-store Wifi or Beacons geo-fencing) detects her entering the store, and triggers a welcome message. Loyalty users are greeted with a free Starbucks coffee, a nice way to start their "Target run" (Starbucks are located inside Target stores). The user then uses the app to map her shopping list and use the app's wayfinding feature to navigate around the store to easily find the items she's looking for. Target's "Store Mode" functionality supports a range of indoor location positioning, including beacons, Wi-Fi, mobile phone sensors, and LED ceiling lights's Visible Light Communication (VLC). In order to use the lightning technology, the user needs to have the app running and the phone's front end camera needs to have direct line of sight (aka "indoor GPS"). To make this possible, Target installed placement holders on shopping carts (as shown in the video) where shoppers can place their phone with the app opened and the phone facing the ceiling lights.