Accenture's labs has developed a low-cost, location-based service that uses an existing wireless local area network (Lan) infrastructure to track people and products within a limited geographical area.
The system, using technology from Finnish software company Ekahau, allows companies to use wireless networks as a geographical positioning system to locate people or equipment.
It creates a map based on the coverage of the wireless Lan, and uses this to locate other wireless Lan-enabled devices, such as laptops, PDAs or tags, inside the network to an accuracy of about three metres.
This means, for example, that in a supermarket using the technology, staff carrying PDAs could be located to an aisle and sent specific information about the products contained in it.
Neill Cameron, senior manager of development at Accenture Technology Labs, said: "This is taking advantage of wireless Lan penetration in the marketplace.
"This is software only. It's leveraging an infrastructure that is being put in anyway."
Cameron explained that the system could be set up and calibrated in less than an hour at a site with an existing wireless network.
The technology is ready for prototype today, and could be in mass-market usage within a year or two.
$5.1bn fine further evidence that the EU is anti-US, claims Trump
New cable will connect Virginia to France
Loon's balloons will bring the internet to remote areas of the country
New clues into the biosphere on Earth in the lead up to the emergence of animal life