Insights

5 tech discoveries from Retail's Big Show

Marketing Manager - CA
Valtech Canada

February 01, 2016

This 4-day exhibition focused on emerging technologies in the retail industry. Here are the top techs we believe will reinvent the in-store consumer experience.

Retail's BIG Show is NRF's flagship industry event held annually in New York City in January. Over the years, it has become the one-stop-shopping destination for up to 30 000 industry professionals from around the world who attend its conferences and networking opportunities while discovering breakthrough technologies.

In today’s economy, many retailers are struggling to innovate within the realm of security, loss control, consumer insights and in-store experience. That's why this year's main priorities focused on IOT, in-store Domotic systems, smart technologies and data personalization. As a way to inspire attendees, Valtech showcased its latest digital experiences: Thermador Virtual Reality and Connected Glass walls delivered for 2 Canadian retailers.

As digital experience continues to evolve, here are 5 technologies seen at NRF16 that we think will expand to the market within the next 2 years:

1. Foot and body scanning

And we’re not talking about a big body scan booth... Size Stream will soon be releasing a Body Scanning Tablet application. This technology can 3D scan a person’s measurements in 10 seconds for ultimate low cost and portability.

Foot scanning with volumental technology is the first generation of VANDRA hardware that lets you scan a customer’s foot in a retail environment with unmatched speed and simplicity. In 2 seconds your customer’s 3D scan is displayed on a tablet, including key measurements to provide a good fit recommendation. This solution helps both shoe retailers looking to provide high level service and fitting experiences, as well as brands that create custom products based on the actual volumetric shape of their customers’ feet.

Why should we use this tech?

  • Consumer side: Measurements can be saved in personalized profile, faster purchases, eliminates need for fitting rooms, and encourages product recommendations.
  • Retailer side: Collects consumer data, promotes exact measurements for products, controls production costs and inventory, and synchronizes with consumer needs and preferences.

2. Li-Fi technology to send and receive data at the speed of light

Used in medical fields like hospitals, Li-Fi is a light-based wireless technology. It uses light waves to send data at lighting speed. Li-Fi enables retailers to collect information about the consumer journey through the intensity of light. Leclerc in France has implemented Li-Fi technology to follow consumers' physical shopping carts. While shopping, consumers are being shown customized content that pertains to what is in their carts—all thanks to a localized light source. This commercial application of data transmission via light is a world first.

Li-Fi vs. WiFi: Tested To Be 100 Times Faster. Is Light Fidelity The Next Big Wave in Wireless Connection?

3. Watson Cognitive Thinking

The Customer is the Channel demo illustrated how retailers can satisfy the needs and expectations of highly sophisticated tech savvy consumers by bringing the excitement of digital experiences to stores, and demonstrates how to extend the physical, in-store experience back into the digital experience.

Similarly to Google Now, the ability of IBM’s Watson technology ability to evaluate and generate hypotheses will help leaders find patterns, correlations and insights in mountains of unstructured and structured data. Shopper profiles will automatically generate while simultaneously compiling thousands of pieces of data.

4. Laser projection

Panasonic has recently released a new version of its laser projector that can be used by retailers to enhance in-store shopping experiences. With the help of extraordinary design elements, the spotlight is put back on the product using beautiful visuals with vivid colours.

Check out Tesla’s 3D mapping example

Nike’s 3D mapping example

5. Facial recognition

In the Samsung booth, eyeQ demoed its facial recognition technology that is able to analyze the characteristics and behaviours of each shopper. The technology can also customize the content that is highlighted on digital displays based on age, gender, location, frequency of visit and emotion.

And since Valtech is VR and AR passionate, here’s something you won’t want to miss: TOMS Giving Experience, which is an emotional VR experience that makes us want to shed a tear.