Now that holiday season has passed, we find ourselves in trade show season. Two of the perennial favourites for retail techies are CES (Consumer Electronics Show) and NRF‘s Big Show (National Retail Federation). Where CES is generally the showcase of technology retailers may sell (or not), NRF reveals how to sell that technology (and lots and lots more) with technology.
At CES, there was a demonstration of one technology of more than passing interest to consumer facing organizations. Microsoft demonstrated Surface 2.0. A slick upgrade to their commercial platform, the new version is built on a 4 inch thick Samsung platform that allows it to be used in its’ current table iteration, as well as mounted on the wall. Royal Bank of Canada is implementing Surface 2.o, and have already been using Surface with a number of applications as part of a recent branch makeover targeting a retail store feel. Wind Mobile and Sheraton hotels have also been using Surface in their consumer facing areas. Expect to see more unique application for this giant iPad coming to a bank or store near you.
At NRF, there are always too many retail technology solutions and ideas to see or cover completely, but a few highlights included:
- Intel’s shoe store video wall, where Adidas shoes can be perused and maniupulated on a group of screens was impressive in its size and scope.
- A number of mobile POS platforms or extensions, many based on iPod touch or iPad platforms. Interesting for use on a store floor, but not really a replacement in most environments.
- Disney discussed their store makeover including use of technology like magic trees and magic mirrors.
- A seminar on Augmented Reality with MIT Media Lab Professor Pattie Maes.
- A demonstration of how Groupe Casino’s mobile shopping app can influence shoppers in the aisle.