Acuity Brands, Inc. reported that it has acquired certain assets, including the patent portfolio and all other intellectual property rights, of ByteLight, Inc. for cash. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. ByteLight, Inc. offers indoor location software for LED lighting which employs blinking LED lights to act as a location beacon. Acuity says that the combination of ByteLight’s technology with its Visible Light Communication-enabled drivers and LED lighting platforms gives retailers a way to deliver digital content to shoppers and associates within a retail store in hopes of increasing customer loyalty and revenues while also reducing operating expenses.
ByteLight pioneered the use of Visible Light Communication (VLC) and Bluetooth® low energy (BLE) technologies combined with smart-phone Apps and Cloud services to transform LED lighting into indoor location waypoints. These waypoints can give shoppers a way to find products inside a store and also enables retailers to create a more personalized, engaging, and connected shopping experience for their customers.
ByteLight’s technology combined with a phone App and a cloud-based backend with the stores layout and current inventory, and records of a person’s shopping habits can communicate specific and targeted digital content to a shopper’s smartphone.
“Incorporating ByteLight’s indoor positioning technology with Acuity’s digital lighting platform is a natural fit as we work closely with leading retailers to help shape retail shopping in a connected world,” said Steve Lydecker, Acuity Brands Lighting senior vice president of Applied Integrated Solutions. “Combining the ByteLight BLE beacons and platform solution with the existing pinpoint accuracy available with Acuity Brands’ indoor positioning technology will allow our customers to quickly recognize the transformational value associated with precise indoor positioning.”
Industry insiders expect that the acquisition will put Acuity Brands in direct competition with Philips, which has analogous light communication and light-based indoor location technology, which can direct a shopper inside a store. Other lighting companies such as GE have previously licensed ByteLight’s technology for demonstrations. (Ref: Coverage).