Osram Buys Stake in Retail Industry Software Company Osram Buys Stake in Retail Industry Software Company
Lighting’s march into IT and the IoT continues apace, as Osram picks up a strategic share of a Swiss startup that engages shoppers in brick-and-mortar stores.
In its latest move to transform from a lighting company into a self-described “high-tech” outfit, Osram has acquired a significant minority interest in a Swiss software startup that delivers individualized deals and product information to shoppers’ smartphones in malls and retail stores.
Osram said it “has gained a strategic minority interest” in Zurich-based beaconsmind AG, the company that already works with Osram on a smart lighting job at 23 Guess and Marc O’Polo shops and at shopping centers owned by Swiss fashion retail group Bollag-Guggenheim.
The equity stake is another step by Osram and the lighting industry to use the world’s lighting infrastructure as a backbone for information technology services, and to bank lighting’s future on Internet of Things (IoT) services in which lights connect to the Internet.
In the retail world, those services include equipping ceiling lights with chips and other technologies that communicate with shoppers’ phones.
Osram is so intent on moving into a high-tech mindset that on some jobs it will even forgo selling lighting and will instead sell IT technology connected to the lighting.