Dubai supermarket is first with connected lighting

UAE supermarket chain Aswaaq has become the first retailer in the Middle East to install connected lighting which communicates with its customers.

Its supermarket in Al Bada’a, Dubai, now boasts so-called Visible Light Communication technology, which is imperceptible to the human eye but detected by smart phone cameras. The lights act as a positioning system which allows shoppers to find items in the store to an accuracy of 30cm. 

Smart-phone owners must first download the Aswaaq-branded app. This allows their phone to communicate with the individual light points transmitting their location through the high-frequency modulation of the light. The data stream is one-way and no personal data is collected by the lighting system.

They use the app to receive information relevant to the items around them such as special offers and they can even look up prices of items on their phone instead of on the shelves. The store managers can use the system to identify the most popular areas of the store to better place products, as well as help streamline tasks such as stock checks and restocking shelves.

'Our customers’ time is precious and having this advanced indoor positioning technology allows us to make shopping faster and more enjoyable,’ Affan Al Khoori, deputy CEO of Aswaaq told Lux Review. ‘It opens up new possibilities that improve the shopping experience, and empower our staff to operate more efficiently.’

The project has been installed by Philips Lighting and an American specialist in ‘digital store mapping’, Aisle411. 

Other retailers trialling visible light communication include Target in the US, and Carrefour at its hypermarket in Lille, France. 

  • A special session of talks and debates on the issue of smart and internet-connected lighting will take place at the LuxLive Middle East exhibition and conference at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, which takes place on Wednesday 13 April and Thursday 14 April 2016. At the Lux Arena at 1:30pm on Wednesday 13 April, Lighting and the Internet of Things (IoT) will be the subject of a nmber of special presentations. They will answer questions such as: What is the Internet of Things? What impact will it have on lighting? What opportunities does the technology open up? And what will be the killer applications that will drive adoption? Klaus Mohr of Tridonic will discuss.
    Afterwards, again at the Lux Arena, Lighting and the Internet will be debated by an expert panel. They will discuss the future of lighting in a connected world. How soon will we see internet-connected lighting in real-world applications? What services and data will customers pay for? What will drive adoption? Who will be the leading players? Will this be an industry initiative or will it be driven by technology brands? What are the security applications? Panellists includes Mohammad Darwish of Fagerhult, Trevor Leighton of Schreder and Klaus Mohr of Tridonic. All presentations are free. To register for a place, visit