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Brief Published: 19 Jun 2012

Geolocation in Millimetres


Speaking at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity for the advertising industry in the south of France on Monday (June 18), Paul Price, chief executive of New York-based agency Creative Realities, spoke of a flood of new technologies which will revolutionise consumer-facing industries.

Price hailed the seemingly innocuous BCM4752 Geolocation chip by US manufacturer Broadcom as a revolution for the retail and marketing industries. It can position a consumer via their smartphone in an indoor environment within millimetres of their actual location. Previous GPS tracking chips were accurate by up to 10 yards or more. The chip was announced in March 2012 for a rollout in the final quarter of the year.

Commenting on the technology’s possible applications, Price explained: "Think in 3D terms about fencing in your consumers... In basic terms imagine a customer is in Macy's next to the suits – their phone can then guide them a few steps along to ties. Where you are says a lot about what you are thinking."

The chip also has NFC (near field communication) technology built in, which will have implications for contactless payment and a seamless shopping experience. Price believes this will further revolution retail saying: "The [design] possibilities are quite endless when you no longer need a cash register."

Creative Realities is currently working on digital shelving concepts. For further reporting on NFC technologies, see Digital Wallets. Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity runs until June 23 in France.