Retail

The last thing on an Olympic athlete’s mind is keeping up with all the keys, ID badges and credit cards needed to cruise through the Olympic village and shop for memorabilia, including those famous collectible pins. To help athletes have an easy shopping experience, Visa created a prototype wearable payment ring that replaces credit and debit cards.

The Automat food dream of the 1940s has come to life in California, and this time it has all the marvels of efficiency of the original model along with a key ingredient: technology innovation. Eatsa, a fast-casual eatery with two locations in San Francisco and one in Los Angeles, is attempting to redefine the restaurant experience, replacing human interaction with a wall of automated ordering and serving technology that whips out tasty quinoa bowls.

When True Fit announced last week it got $25 million in Series B funding for its massive clothing preference database, it was interesting, but what would be really exciting is if someone helped True Fit marry its database to a database fed by technology like Sensoria’s wearable textiles that tracks how users actually move and their state of health. That would have a huge compounding effect.

One of the biggest challenges for retailers selling apparel and footwear online is helping customers find an outfit or pair of shoes that is something they will love—and keep. If the product isn’t a good fit, the sale will likely result in a returned product, which is costly for the retailer and frustrating for the customer.

If you have customers in hospitality, restaurants, education or retail verticals, then digital signage solutions may be the unique, high-margin opportunity of 2016, according to Ingram Micro. “The expectation now is that all major retailers will have digital signs,” explains Eric Kenyon, Senior Sales Executive, Pro Av/Digital Signage at Ingram Micro.

As IoT devices hit the market in record numbers this year, investors are starting to pour funding into companies that can develop cyberphysical security solutions. According to a new report from Lux Research, venture capital investment in cyberphysical security startups rose 78 percent to $228 million in 2015.

Spoken word may be a popular art form, but it also becoming popular in tech circles as well, thanks to Amazon’s Echo, a device that allows users to ask the Alexa search engine questions. What marketers do not have to ask is about Amazon’s growing dominance.

Digital signage has evolved from being more than just a gimmicky tool to retailers to a must-have piece of the marketing program. “The expectation is that all major retailers will have digital signs as a way to give data back to their customers,” explains Eric Kenyon, Senior Sales Executive, Pro Av/Digital Signage, Ingram Micro. “Digital signs make a retail space more impactful, and they are a necessity for brand awareness.”

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