In Nick Lansley's post he discusses using the wifi capability on most modern smart phones to do some marketing and offering some useful targetted functionality - i.e. find a product or you might like product X. This article also points to a stronger tie in between mobile phones and the tesco clubcard features.
Using an open access point to nab someones browser and forward it to some local content is a useful idea - as Nick points out this is how hotels and trains tend to charge folks for using their wifi services. Certainly things like local map of the store, store special offers, latest news - all feels like good things. Hook this up with social networking and you could choose to have your friends informed that you're down the local Tesco.
These two got me thinking about other ways you could use mobiles in store and possibly so real time analytics that could be gained. So my recollection of the Where 2.0 convention was that there was some tech there that tracked folks mobile phones - a little digging and I found an oreilly link for the results of where 2.0. In theory the foot path system from path intelligence could allow tescos to track all customers around the store. I'm guessing similar technology exists for Wifi signals - indeed Google's latitude technology is partially based on doing just this.
Makes me wonder if Tesco are already doing this? I assume there is some tracking technology in use.
If not then this coupled with the two mobile activities above could garner some incredible MI. In theory it wouldn't be too hard to link a customers clubcard number to their wifi MAC address or their IMEI number and track how people get around the store. It's all a little big brother but I think some interesting applications could arise - i.e. as a bloke I like to get in and out of the store asap- in, grab stuff i want, pay, leave (possibly browse the electronics bit).
Now if I could see a map of how I traverse the store with suggestions about alternate routes - or even just the store was organised to better support me (assuming I'm average joe public) purchasing things then that would be great.
Tie that up with some web2.0 social networking and you could share and invite comments on your route round the store - just imagine the facebook update : Craig spent 137.51 in 1 hour 18 minutes and 4 seconds at Tesco Purley. ahem - maybe going a bit far.
Also to avoid the recent faux pas in google's street view roll out some sensitive areas would need to be handled - like spending undue amount of time perusing adult magazines or in the pregnancy test section.
Still, in principle sharing my purchases and route with friends and getting useful comments back would be good - why are you buying that? X is cheaper.. or Have you tried Y, it's available just here...
Just some musings, more thoughts in my head but lunch time slot for blogging coming to an end...
Oh, and as for the 'no mobile signal half way through the store' issue would it be friendly of tesco to install some signal repeaters?