Retail

Two robotic arms have replaced bartenders at the Tipsy Robot in Las Vegas, the world’s first land-based bar to have fully autonomous robots behind the bar mixing cocktails. In about 90 seconds, the robot can blend precise quantities of ingredients and dispense customized mixed drinks to customers via an automated conveyor platform. 

IoT companies interested in cracking the last-mile delivery challenge got a boost from another state, as Ohio recently became the fifth U.S. state to pass a law allowing for the use of delivery robots on public sidewalks and in crosswalks statewide. The state’s latest budget approval signed by the governor included a provision that permits the use of unmanned sidewalk delivery robots throughout Ohio cities.

Cashiers may very well become the job opportunity of the past for fast food restaurants and other retailers. A new study from Visa and PYMNTS.com found that more than 80 percent of Americans have a strong interest in using connected devices to make their purchases. Coupled with that is news from McDonald’s, announcing it plans to add 2,500 digital ordering kiosks by the end of 2017 and will roll out mobile ordering at thousands of its busiest restaurants. 

From professional golfers to weekend putters, everybody needs a little help to improve their golf scores. The IoT is now in the game, as app developers, manufacturers and solution providers are unleashing a portfolio of golf tech, including GPS stat trackers, real-time game analytics, digital scoreboards for PGA tournaments and wearables for players that include sensor-based swing analysis tools.  

Retail stores are experiencing a harsh reality of declining foot traffic. However, once a customer comes into a store, there is a good chance she or he will buy something. A recent survey from TimeTrade Shopper reports that 73 percent of shoppers say they prefer to browse online and make purchases in a physical store. To turn browsers into buyers, solution providers need to help retail customers accelerate their use of IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), digital signage, and next-generation point-of-sale (POS) technologies. 

Oracle Data Cloud is combining data from Oracle Corp. and other sources with Apache Spark’s machine learning data analytics engine to help businesses both expand and hone their advertising.
IBM's Watson and SAP Leonardo and Ariba will all contribute to a platform that leads to more intelligent operations and streamlines procurement.

The newest celebrity chef from California is named Sally. High tech and cool as a cucumber, she has just one specialty: salads. She can make more than 1,000 different combinations, fresh and perfectly proportioned, and serve up a made-to-order, seven-component salad in a minute. Customizable and efficient, Sally is the creation of Chowbotics, Inc., one of the many new companies in the multibillion-dollar market for food service robots. 

While home robots that can vacuum and do light household chores are high on the “I-want” list for many consumers, the first robotic encounter for most people may be inside a store. With the ability to manage inventory and perform shelf audits in real-time, take payment for items anywhere inside a store, and even prepare coffee or mix drinks for shoppers, retail robots could be the next best way to keep customers returning to brick-and-mortar stores.

That mirror, mirror on the wall, may soon be the smartest IoT device of them all. Voice-activated and body-controlled smart mirrors can now do everything from displaying local news and weather to reminding seniors which daily prescriptions to grab from the medicine cabinet. Mirrors are becoming a mainstay in automobile manufacturing and showing up in other segments, including healthcare, retail, SMBs, advertising and consumer-driven industries.

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