Amazing how Wi-Fi has come, in three or so years, from a very obscure and slightly geeky thing to something supermarkets sell, both in terms of devices and services.
Robert Jaques of VNUNet today reports that Linksys “will begin marketing a special line of wireless networking products for home users at selected Tesco superstores in the UK”. Linksys, the report says, is “the only consumer networking vendor in all three of the world’s top retailers, i.e. Tesco, Wal-Mart and Carrefour”.
A piece in this month’s Grocery Headquarters magazine, meanwhile (yes, I read it all the time) says “the supermarket industry is starting to use wi-fi cafes to drive incremental sales and customer loyalty one latte at a time”. Supermarkets in the U.S., the report says, are using their own wireless LANs to offer customers Wi-Fi. Wegmans Food Markets is already testing the technology in two Pennsylvania stores. Quality Food Centers (QFC), a division of Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., offers shoppers wi-fi access in half a dozen stores in the state of Washington.
Soon Wi-Fi will just be something that everyone has, everyone expects, and nobody pays for. Just as it should be.