One day in 2007, the year the iPhone launched, Aisle411 Founder and CEO Nathan Pettyjohn was sent on a wild goose chase inside a retail store looking for a surge protector. He then watched another shopper struggling with the same issue to find the product they wanted. Right then, Nathan had the light bulb go off with the innovative idea to let shoppers use their mobile phones to search for products inside the store and have the phones relay where the products were located. A self service product and indoor asset locator for mobile shoppers and users.
Aisle411 was formed in April 2008 to address this common problem for shoppers. The company built a proprietary indoor product and asset mapping platform to digitize retailer floor plans and asset locations. A custom product search engine was created to handle the various ways shoppers might search for a particular item indoors, including regional dialects and malapropisms. The end result is a user experience commonly described as “Google Maps inside a store.”
Now, Aisle411 is ready to take its expertise in understanding the indoor world and apply it to a variety of indoor locations. With new positioning technologies capable of locating a user’s device within centimeters, Aisle411 can now very accurately determine a shopper’s proximity to what they are looking for, and provide way-finding capabilities through an indoor location. This confluence of precise asset management and user location is the foundation for Aisle411’s ultimate goal: Helping mobile users understand the indoor world and find what they want, when they want it.
Aisle411 is applying this expertise to retail to create “The Internet of Stores,” whereby physical stores can have the same hyper targeting sophistication as an ecommerce website. Brands and retailers can understand the Path to Purchase for shoppers and build attribution models for their digital marketing spend. But Aisle411 is now also applying this to other indoor venues. The company realizes there is a much bigger opportunity to help any organization map and make sense of the indoor world for a variety of reasons.
The company’s expertise in locating assets at scale has powerful synergies with the indoor positioning market. Besides the ability to show a user their current location inside a building and provide GPS-like way-finding to an assets location, Aisle411 is using indoor positioning to help business owners bring new and exciting engagement experiences to their customers.
Aisle411 is proud to have partnered with many leading companies in the indoor technology ecosystem, including Philips Lighting and Beco. Philips Lighting is a global leader in connected lighting systems which achieves hyper accurate indoor positioning through Visible Light Communication (VLC). Aisle411 and Philips Lighting just announced that it is partnered to deliver the first connected lighting indoor positioning system in the Middle East for Aswaaq, a UAE-based community retailer.
With an eye toward the future, Aisle411 is also creating new shopping experiences in augmented and virtual reality. A Google development partner since 2014, Aisle411 has piloted Google’s Project Tango 3D computer vision technology with retailers and other indoor spaces. Consumer Augmented Reality (AR) products are launching this year with the Google Tango technology, so a whole new way to engage with users is being developed and deployed. Aisle411 is leading the way to bring this technology to market.
Now 8 years old, Aisle411 has built a 20-person company developing and working on the intersection of indoor asset management, device positioning technologies, innovative engagement products, including augmented reality and user analytics, to bring together a data platform and analytics tool necessary to help organizations and businesses alike make sense of the indoor world. Aisle411 works to provide a seamless mobile user experience for search, information gathering and routing in an unstructured indoor world.
Aisle411 is very excited about the opportunity to build a smarter engaging indoor world.