robot, NRF, NRF 2017

Intel chief executive officer Brian Krzanich demonstrated Intel-powered, Simbe Robotics’ Tally at NRFIntel Corporation

Intel’s Retail Play

At the National Retail Federation’s “Big Show” earlier this week, Intel announced its $100 million investment in new retail businesses. This will aim to unify and integrate often-segregated systems in effort to reduce redundancies, relieve labor costs and resolve current business operation challenges.

Intel’s effort to broaden its reach and provide premium service to its retail customers was realized in its NRF debut of its Responsive Retail Platform. The software harmonizes disparate cloud and IoT technology to lens an accurate portrayal of retail businesses. RRP services retailers by maximizing efficiencies and offering interactive in-store and online customer experiences. Among its key features, actions are automated and new store services are simply deployed.

Also in its big reveal, Intel’s chief executive officer Brian Krzanich demonstrated Simbe Robotics’ Tally. Powered by Intel’s Core i7 processor-based Intel NUC and with the utilization of Intel’s RealSense cameras, the robot is the first autonomous shelf auditing and analytics tool. The robot works safely during store hours to inform store associates with real-time information to keep shelves stocked with the correct products featuring visible price tags.

At NRF, Intel also debuted interactive product displays for improved customer engagement, on-demand 3-D-printing, and “complete-the-look” real-time, data-driven shoe and apparel matching platforms.

Perfectly Fitted

Also at the Intel booth was True Fit Inc. cofounder Jessica Murphy who was busy showcasing a collaborative product: a 3-D foot scanner. The beta version scanner was created by Intel “to seamlessly integrate with True Fit’s platform for in store use,” the company said.

“The scanner leverages Intel’s RealSense cameras to augment consumers’ True Fit profiles with 3-D information that will enhance the buying experience with increased fidelity and will be the foundation enhanced visualizations and experiences in store and online,” True Fit noted.

Murphy told WWD that connecting the scanner to a “robust data set” helps consumers and brands achieve greater personalization and an overall better shopping experience. “The key is using artificial intelligence and machine learnings along with data that has been amassed over time,” she said, adding that it turns “scan data into relevant and scalable recommendations for the consumer.”

All Over the Place

Also at the show was Tyco Retail Solutions, who was touting its latest market offering: a portfolio of Internet of Things-enabled solutions that provide “real-time, in-store visibility and predictive analytics to help drive sales, improve operations and deliver a differentiated brand experience.” That means providing retailers and brands with tools to better take advantage of doing business in a unified commerce environment — more commonly known as omnichannel retailing. Tyco said its IoT ecosystem includes an integrated platform of RFID technology and sensors as well as security systems and device management. It also includes video analytics.

As part of the launch of the portfolio, Tyco is touting its “store-based cloud analytics and managed services offerings tailored to specific retailer needs.” Bjoern Petersen, president of Tyco Retail Solutions said forward-thinking retailers’ interest in IoT is “all about connecting stores, inventory, shoppers and associates within the digital retail world. Through our predictive, actionable insights, we can help our retail customers deliver a differentiated brand experience in today’s connected shopping world to ultimately increase sales and maximize business outcomes.”