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BT shows wireless kit to retailers

Several large UK retailers are in talks with BT about implementing next generation wireless technology designed to make shopping...

Several large UK retailers are in talks with BT about implementing next generation wireless technology designed to make shopping more convenient.

The telecoms giant said it expects a big UK retailer to have implemented one or more of the new services and products based on wireless local area network (Lan) technology, within a year.

BT is showcasing a number of the products at a "future store" at Adastral Park, its research headquarters near Ipswich. They include an intelligent shopping trolley which will guide shoppers around stores using a wireless Lan.

This may sound like blue sky technology but retailers can implement such services straight away, insisted Gary Sharp, business manager for the grocery sector at BT Retail.

"All of our retail customers are looking at utilising wireless Lan technology in-store, while our research with the Henley Centre has shown that consumers are more open to using it."

The shopping trolley will enable supermarkets to personalise shopping, said Sharp. "Shoppers will be able to put their loyalty card in a tablet device which sits on the trolley and will guide them around the store and give them product information, such as nut content."

BT is also showcasing an "avatar", which will allow shoppers to scan their bodies in order to try on clothes virtually, and a directional speaker that can target relevant shoppers as they walk past, Sharp said.

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