Tesco has confirmed it is piloting a new satnav technology using Android powered devices to assist customers to navigate around stores more easily and locate items quickly.
The supermarket chain had previously announced that it was toying with the technology using iPhones and iPads but it has since ditched the iDevices in favour of the fast-growing Android platform, and is currently trialing a new prototype system at its Tesco Extra branch in Romford, London.
Nick Lansley, head of research and development at Tesco, said: “The new service is able to show you where all your wanted products are on a store map, show you where you are on that map, and guide you round the store to pick up your products using the shortest route.”
To participate in the trial, Tesco customers have to contact the Tesco R&D team directly for a link to download an app as it is not yet ready to be released on the Android Market.
Lansley added, however, that the trial was a one-off, with no plans to have the system installed at any other stores in the immediate future.
"The system involves a lot of infrastructure installation in the stores so we need to get all kinds of people involved in thinking about the customer experience.
“It would be awful if we did all this work but few customers really used it."
Tesco already has official app that allows customers to scan barcodes of items and shop for groceries on the move. Ironically, that app is available for iOS, Windows Phone 7 and even Symbian but not Android.