Smart Public Kiosks Enhance Livability, Connect Communities

Cities are busy places, and they’re getting busier. Thankfully, many of them are also getting smarter by enabling smarter parking, better transportation and better air quality management for better citizen experiences. Among the most groundbreaking of innovations contributing to those experiences are smart public kiosks — replacing outdated infrastructure, such as phone booths and static signage, with smart kiosks. From providing environmental sensors and smart lighting to boosting cell reception and serving as a free Wi-Fi hotspot, kiosks enhance quality of life, equity, sustainability and security in a city. They are able to generate new revenue streams for cities through advertising — which can help them to become self-funded —and provide valuable services, such as wayfinding, transit routes, free Wi-Fi, and emergency alerts for more connected experiences between citizens and the services provided by their local governments and businesses.

A person stands in front of a smart public kiosk.

Connecting Citizens to Local Government

Smart public kiosks, such as Intel technology enabled CIVIQ Smartscapes, Intersection and CityBeacon, offer tremendous opportunities to enhance and ease citizens’ quality of life by enabling citizens to more easily access information and connect to the world around them. CityBeacon is an Intel IoT Market Ready Solution — it’s a proven, commercially available today solution that bridges digital and physical worlds providing reliable connectivity and maximum flexibility for smarter city management. For public kiosks, those connections include speakers, large digital signage screens and flashing lights can broadcast public service announcements or missing child alerts. Interactive transit route maps can make navigating public transit easier with wayfinding features. Under the hood, kiosks can also provide powerful Wi-Fi hotspots and strengthen cell phone signals. As kiosks expand their reach, citizens and local governments alike are only beginning to realize the full potential of the technology to empower communities.

A person's finger touches a smart public kiosk.

Enhancing Safety in Public Spaces

From a community health and safety standpoint, kiosks can brighten dark spaces with smart lighting that adjusts to current conditions for better lit, and safer, public spaces. Built-in incident and facial detection features can further enhance safety and enable public safety officers and EMTs to more quickly respond to incidents. Kiosks can even monitor air pollution, helping to contribute to healthier communities.

Growing Local Economies

For local businesses, kiosks are scaling out their digital and interactive display offerings are even more convenient because they have facial detection — they can detect emotions, demographic information and more while maintaining the privacy of consumers. These kinds of cognitive analytics enable the display to engage in a real-time feedback loop, refining messaging in response to the reactions, in order to reach the right consumers with even more precise messaging in the future. From purchasing tours and event tickets, to paying for parking or bus fare, kiosks enable businesses to connect with customers wherever they are, creating amazing experiences along the way.

Engaging and interactive, kiosks support smart city initiatives delivering real-time information, services and alerts to citizens and visitors—quickly and cost-effectively. To learn more, check out the smart kiosk at the village during Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, Nov. 14-16, or visit intel.com/publickiosks.

Learn more about Intel IoT Market Ready Solutions at www.intel.com/iotmarketready. Visit intel.com/retail to learn more about how Intel technology is shaping the future of responsive retail. To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

 

 


Source: Network News

Accelerate Adoption of Remote Care to Dramatically Reduce Costs

There are many challenges to the long-term viability of our healthcare systems. An increasingly older and growing population demanding care amid a shortage of qualified personnel. A shift from infectious to more costly chronic disease management. An evolving policy and regulatory landscape. How can these challenges of cost, quality, and access be addressed?

Providers are increasingly turning to remote care for the answer. The potential of remote care is well documented: It can reduce hospital admissions by as much as 40% while cutting U.S. employer healthcare costs by as much as $6 billion annually.

The benefits seem intuitive enough. By moving healthcare delivery beyond the hospital or clinic and closer to patients, providers can engage more frequently and gather data continuously. This allows them to design better and more proactive and personalized treatments without unnecessary and costly office visits or hospital admissions. And it enables patients to participate more in managing their own health, monitoring their vitals to make smarter decisions that can improve their quality of life.

So why is remote care delivery still not ubiquitous? While its use is increasing, widespread adoption still faces barriers. Foremost among them are security and privacy concerns, integration with existing workflows and technology, and solution flexibility that doesn’t sacrifice reliability and predictability.

But now there’s a new solution that can help address these concerns and help usher in a new generation of remote patient care.

Introducing the Intel Health Application Platform—software that, when coupled with an Intel-architecture-based design specification implemented by a third-party hardware vendor such as Flex, can help enable healthcare solution providers to securely and reliably deliver distributed healthcare services across an always-connected and ever-expanding healthcare edge and to any cloud.

When combined with a third-party hardware design, the Intel Health Application Platform can empower the healthcare industry to develop novel and exciting products and services that require enterprise-grade stability, security, and longevity. All while lowering TCO and delivering better user experiences. Once developed and deployed by healthcare solution providers, these solutions can give care providers access to a new breed of flexible yet robust solutions that can help them provide more informed and proactive diagnoses and treatments.

Intel is helping enable smarter approaches to healthcare delivery at the edge and a new standard for remote patient care.

To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.


Source: Network News

Using Data to Create Personalized Experiences for a Better Bottom Line

The Need for Personalization

Today’s retail landscape is more competitive than ever. Brands have to rely and work with not only brick-and-mortar chains, but with websites around the world, many of which operate on thinner margins. Brands that are trying to break through are facing an increasingly difficult disrupted marketplace, where new competitors seem to appear almost every day.

Meanwhile, an array of new technologies enable brands to deliver personalized experiences to millions of individual customers in real time. Analytics, both on the web and in-store, provide detailed insights on customers’ interests and purchase patterns, along with increasingly accurate predictions about what they’re likely to buy next month. Brands and retailers are leveraging this data to streamline their sales funnels, achieving greater efficiently every year.

In this increasingly competitive marketplace, personalized customer experiences are no longer just a nice bonus. They’re the only thing preventing your customers from switching to another brand that seems to understand them better. With a tremendous amount of money being spent getting foot traffic in stores, personalized experiences can be used to point consumers towards desired products, in hopes of making a sale. Here’s how visual experiences can enable more engaging experiences, more empowered sales teams, and an improved bottom line for your brand.

A person looks at a mirror.

Personalized, connected, data smart experiences

Data comes from a wide range of sources – and ideally, you should be gathering it from all your store’s touchpoints. Interactions on the web, on mobile, and in brick-and-mortar stores can all combine to create customer insights you’d never have gotten from any single source. Add in volunteered data from loyalty programs, and you’ve got all the resources you need to build robust, 360-degree view of your store.

These deep customer insights enable you to deliver more tailored advertising, orchestrating continuously improved customer journeys that span all digital and physical touchpoints. Instead of showing all your customers the same ads, you’ll be able to show offers related to their individual tastes and preferences – both on the web and in your stores. This kind of interactive signage gets more than twice the engagement rate of social media and 24 percent more dwell time than Google’s benchmark.

Beyond advertising, these robust customer insights will enable you to provide best-in-class sales tools to your employees. The latest generation of in store technologies are helping sales associates get to know their customers via opt-in loyalty programs, allowing them to greet customers by name, purchase anywhere, make recommendations to customers, anticipate customer demand and optimize supply chain to meet demand.

With more informed salespeople comes faster, more streamlined, and personalized service. When your customers feel empowered to begin the purchase process on their own devices – and your sales staff can pick up and complete that process at the point of conversion – you’ll see shorter lines, faster checkouts, and smoother flow of foot traffic throughout your store. Since employees will be able to concentrate more on personal customer service, customers will leave happier than ever.

 

Raising your bottom line

Longer dwell time and shorter lines are all well and good – but how do all these changes perform in terms of return on investment (ROI)? Strikingly well, in fact. Personalized experiences have been shown to contribute to increased revenue and reduced loss in a variety of complementary ways.

Digital signage can also pick up on trends, demographics, patterns, and provide detailed analytics, allowing retailers to better decide how to promote certain items. With this data, retailers can better decide how to spend their advertising dollars. This creates targeted content that has a much better chance at effectively reaching the consumer, ultimately leading to a sale. This can all be done in real time, allowing retailers to minimize waste and spend money when and where it counts.

Personalized experiences are powerful tools for transforming unique spaces into new revenue streams. You could even transform your parking lots into showcases where customers can interact with personalized displays which can help draw them into your store. This may lead to new opportunities in capturing revenue by using these spaces to place digital signage, capture ad revenue and target an untapped audience.

Messaging at the right time is also crucial. Most customers perform their own product research, both at home and in-store. But when shopping in a store, a full 90 percent of shoppers make at least one impulse purchase per trip – often driven by ads or reviews they see on digital signs while at the store.

The more data you’re able to bring together from all channels, the more personalized experiences you’ll be able to serve up at the exact moment when each customer is most likely to consider a purchase. And along the way, your interactive displays will be gathering even more data on your customers’ preferences and behavior, so you can create more targeted, effective outreach, leading to a positive impact on the bottom line.

Visit intel.com/retail to learn more about how Intel technology is shaping the future of responsive retail. To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.


Source: Network News

Illuminating New Business Opportunities with Smart Lighting

Now that most people live in cities, urban areas are the de facto laboratories of the future.

Cities drive innovation because of their swelling populations, professional networks, and perhaps most important, the richness of data they offer. Information is everywhere, and the challenge is how everyday activities can be captured and translated into actionable insights. City planners and technologists have long grappled with the tricky issue of rolling out data-collection systems across an entire metropolis.

Recently, however, we’ve achieved a major breakthrough. CityIQ intelligent nodes, the product of collaboration between General Electric and Intel, transform simple streetlights into powerful data collection terminals. These are already capable of amassing a wide range of information by attaching cameras, sensors, and microphones to ordinary streetlights.

We know that the CityIQ intelligent nodes can collect a wide variety of information, providing hyperlocal seismic detection, weather monitoring, emergency response, gunshot detection, and traffic monitoring. But we’ve only scratched the surface of what these systems can do.

Smart streetlight sensors.

San Diego, already a pioneer in smart streetlighting with plans to build the largest known urban sensor program in the world, is exploring how the creativity of citizens can realize even more value from this powerful new technology. Co-sponsored by Intel, the San Diego Smart City Hackathon in June tasked entrepreneurs and developers with concepting new applications to take advantage of streetlight data, drawing on real CityIQ datasets and GE Intelligent Cities APIs.

The first-place team put forward an app to help aspiring small business owners find the most suitable store locations. The other top teams also had ingenious ideas: The second-place team proposed an app to identify and report drunk drivers; the third-place team suggested an app to optimize parking.

Intel and GE supported this and other hackathons, such as the recent Minds + Machines event in Berlin, to support data sharing. Bringing cities online will support entire ecosystems of innovation, opening the door for new businesses. An investment in streetlight systems pays dividends by increasing economic activity. The upside is mind-boggling: A 2014 study by consulting firm Frost & Sullivan estimated that smart cities will be worth $1.6 trillion by 2020.

As more information is collected by smart streetlights, it’s critical the data is secure. That’s why the systems use Intel’s edge processing technology and GE’s Predix platform protects data as it moves from the streetlamp to the cloud. Intel’s security-focused hardware ensures that all data is safely stored, processed, aggregated, and transmitted. The Predix operating system is already being used in other high-security networks, such as nuclear power plants and healthcare facilities.

Cities grow organically, each according to its own unique character. While the smart lighting systems stem from something universal–the need for safe, bright public spaces–there is no roadmap for where they might lead us. Instead, they open innumerable possibilities for smart cities around the globe. Armed with data, we can start building the cities we’ve always dreamed of.

 

The post Illuminating New Business Opportunities with Smart Lighting appeared first on IoT@Intel.


Source: Network News

Facial Recognition and AI Helping Customize Retail Experiences

When shopping online, today’s customers want all the personalization of an in-store experience. And when they walk into a brick-and-mortar store, they want continuity from this online experience, based on the choices they made across all other touchpoints.

Savvy retailers have met these expectations by pulling in incredible amounts of data for highly personalized cross-channel offerings. Online, they’re performing advanced real-time analytics on customer behavior to deliver digital experiences tailored around customers’ interests and needs. In store, they’re using cutting-edge software to understand who’s looking at displays, and to engage, entice, interact and motivate action.

This level of personalization uses artificial intelligence (AI) for facial analytics. It is an essential tool for any retailer who aims to keep up with the changing expectations of digital consumers and find more effective ways to generate revenue. Here’s how the power of AI and facial recognition enable a deeper understanding of customers and provide more personalized experiences.

Two humans look at a tablet.

What visual experiences do

The goal of in-store personalization is to deliver experiences that are as individually tailored as those online. While this might sound like a tall order, the truth is that the latest digital displays can collect analytics and deliver content just as precise as those of any web platform.

Only 13 percent of in-store eye fixations are on signage, and the average shopper looks at signage for only three-tenths of a second. Less than half of those people can remember what they saw on the signs. In short, it’s not what you look at, but what you see, that’s really crucial — and a very effective way to ensure that shoppers see a display is to provide them with targeted content.

It all starts with deep insights about consumers. These can come from digital touchpoints, from in-store analytics or, ideally, from a combination of data from all channels. Taken together this data can reveal trends and deeper customer insights — for example, 50 percent more shoppers engage with alcohol brands on Tuesdays rather than on Thursdays, and they’re two times more likely to browse frozen foods on a Wednesday afternoon. This leads to a better understanding of the customer, greater data personalization, insight and a better overall customer experience.

When you connect online and offline data to arrive at these kinds of insights, you’ll deliver more personalized experiences and establish loyalty for your brand. The next step is to leverage AI to reach the shopper.

AI in retail experience

The latest data shows that interactive digital signage gets more than twice the engagement rate of top social networks. It also gets a dwell time that’s 24 percent higher than Google benchmark data for online rich media. But not all interactive signage gets these impressive results. To really activate the power of this channel, you’ve got to use it to learn about customers — then deliver personalized, customized content that connects with them at the right time.

Many retailers are scrambling to increase personalized experiences and are calling on companies with proven results that offer groundbreaking retail technology, specializing in driving brand and consumer engagement. One of the most powerful tools for in-store personalization is facial facial detection . This technology can play visually interesting content for individual customers, based on past purchases. But that’s only the beginning.

Digital and interactive displays go far beyond facial detection — they can recognize returning customers’ emotions, demographic information, shopping time, location and more. These cognitive analytics enable the display to engage in a real-time feedback loop with the customer, refining its messaging in response to the shopper’s reactions, in order to reach the right consumers with even more precise messaging in the future.

The results speak for themselves. Using a combination of facial recognition, emotion detection and advertising refinement raised the average dwell time per display to an almost-unheard-of 32 seconds. Impressions and engagements also went through the roof, as more shoppers interacted with personalized displays and were far more likely to purchase following those interactions.

Some brands are beginning to go a step even further by adding object detection to their personalization strategy. This can yield even better results, and serve targeted behavior-driven messages to individual customers. All touchpoints in all stores can deliver a single, consistent experience that spans every digital touchpoint and brick-and-mortar location.

This is the level of consistency and personalization demanded by today’s shoppers. Aside from the increase in engagement and revenue, the real value is the ability to build emotional connections with your customers. This personalization is an absolute necessity in the future of retail to keep customers coming back, time and time again.

Visit intel.com/retail to learn more about how Intel technology is shaping the future of responsive retail. To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

The post Facial Recognition and AI Helping Customize Retail Experiences appeared first on IoT@Intel.


Source: Network News

Facial Detection and AI Helping Customize Retail Experiences

When shopping online, today’s customers want all the personalization of an in-store experience. And when they walk into a brick-and-mortar store, they want continuity from this online experience, based on the choices they made across all other touchpoints.

Savvy retailers have met these expectations by pulling in incredible amounts of data for highly personalized cross-channel offerings. Online, they’re performing advanced real-time analytics on customer behavior to deliver digital experiences tailored around customers’ interests and needs. In store, they’re using cutting-edge software to understand who’s looking at displays, and to engage, entice, interact and motivate action.

This level of personalization uses artificial intelligence (AI) for facial analytics. It is an essential tool for any retailer who aims to keep up with the changing expectations of digital consumers and find more effective ways to generate revenue. Here’s how the power of AI and facial detection enable a deeper understanding of customers and provide more personalized experiences.

Two humans look at a tablet.

What visual experiences do

The goal of in-store personalization is to deliver experiences that are as individually tailored as those online. While this might sound like a tall order, the truth is that the latest digital displays can collect analytics and deliver content just as precise as those of any web platform.

Only 13 percent of in-store eye fixations are on signage, and the average shopper looks at signage for only three-tenths of a second. Less than half of those people can remember what they saw on the signs. In short, it’s not what you look at, but what you see, that’s really crucial — and a very effective way to ensure that shoppers see a display is to provide them with targeted content.

It all starts with deep insights about consumers. These can come from digital touchpoints, from in-store analytics or, ideally, from a combination of data from all channels. Taken together this data can reveal trends and deeper customer insights — for example, 50 percent more shoppers engage with alcohol brands on Tuesdays rather than on Thursdays, and they’re two times more likely to browse frozen foods on a Wednesday afternoon. This leads to a better understanding of the customer, greater data personalization, insight and a better overall customer experience.

When you connect online and offline data to arrive at these kinds of insights, you’ll deliver more personalized experiences and establish loyalty for your brand. The next step is to leverage AI to reach the shopper.

AI in retail experience

The latest data shows that interactive digital signage gets more than twice the engagement rate of top social networks. It also gets a dwell time that’s 24 percent higher than Google benchmark data for online rich media. But not all interactive signage gets these impressive results. To really activate the power of this channel, you’ve got to use it to learn about customers — then deliver personalized, customized content that connects with them at the right time.

Many retailers are scrambling to increase personalized experiences and are calling on companies with proven results that offer groundbreaking retail technology, specializing in driving brand and consumer engagement. One of the most powerful tools for in-store personalization is facial facial detection . This technology can play visually interesting content for individual customers, based on past purchases. But that’s only the beginning.

Digital and interactive displays go far beyond facial detection — they can detect returning customers’ emotions, demographic information, shopping time, location and more. These cognitive analytics enable the display to engage in a real-time feedback loop with the customer, refining its messaging in response to the shopper’s reactions, in order to reach the right consumers with even more precise messaging in the future.

The results speak for themselves. Using a combination of facial detection, emotion detection and advertising refinement raised the average dwell time per display to an almost-unheard-of 32 seconds. Impressions and engagements also went through the roof, as more shoppers interacted with personalized displays and were far more likely to purchase following those interactions.

Some brands are beginning to go a step even further by adding object detection to their personalization strategy. This can yield even better results, and serve targeted behavior-driven messages to individual customers. All touchpoints in all stores can deliver a single, consistent experience that spans every digital touchpoint and brick-and-mortar location.

This is the level of consistency and personalization demanded by today’s shoppers. Aside from the increase in engagement and revenue, the real value is the ability to build emotional connections with your customers. This personalization is an absolute necessity in the future of retail to keep customers coming back, time and time again.

Visit intel.com/retail to learn more about how Intel technology is shaping the future of responsive retail. To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

The post Facial Detection and AI Helping Customize Retail Experiences appeared first on IoT@Intel.


Source: Network News

Future of Brick and Mortar Begins With Responsive Retail: 7 Questions With JDA

We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with JDA Software GVP Product Strategy Todd McCourtie to discuss the future of brick-and-mortar stores. Successful retailing comes down to one thing: getting the right product into shoppers’ hands. That may sound simple, but success requires inventory accuracy, efficient sales associates and the flexibility to quickly adapt to shoppers’ needs in near-real time. That said, thanks to today’s emerging retail technology solutions I’m convinced that the retail industry’s future has never looked brighter! –Stacey Shulman

A picture of clothes on hangers.

Q: To start off, what are some of the challenges you see brick-and-mortar retailers facing that technology solutions can help solve?

A: Today’s retailers are looking for answers to the same questions that have always challenged the retail industry. How do I manage my inventory? How do I deliver a great customer experience? Moreover, how do I optimize my workforce for maximum results? Technology can help here, but what has really emerged is that as some retailers have tried to solve these challenges they’ve ended up cobbling together islands of technology. So it’s been very difficult for them to get that full 360-degree view of the store that leads to actionable results. I think that’s where we see opportunities emerging through technology solutions that can seamlessly support retailers with their immediate problem, which is how can they make sure they’ve got their inventories in the right place in the store.

 

Q: Can you talk a bit about how improving inventory management can solve several retail issues at once?

A: There’s a couple things. First, it’s not just a missed sale if the inventory is not in its place, but it affects the customer experience. Whether a retailer offers an inviting and easy-to-understand sales process is completely irrelevant if the product isn’t on the shelf. So, to me, that’s where it starts. If retailers have inventory visibility they can start to do localization because they’re seeing the real-time demand. A great example that focuses on localization is the question of why do sweaters arrive at Phoenix, Arizona, stores in May? It makes absolutely no sense. If near-real-time inventory management solutions are in place, then retailers have insights into the buying habits of individual stores and communities. They can then instantly replenish inventory, or not, based on the demands they’re getting from the store.

 

Q: How are JDA and Intel technology solutions uniquely positioned to address the localized inventory management solutions you mentioned?

A: I was hoping you’d ask! I’m excited to share that JDA and Intel have teamed up to offer retailers an intelligent technology solution to help manage and overcome age-old business challenges: the JDA Store Optimizer, supported by the Intel Responsive Retail Sensor. It tracks inventory accurately, so you always know where items are located and how many are in stock while also automatically updating store associates’ tasks. Having near-real-time inventory data makes it easy to run lean, save time and money and replenish products as needed with little risk of shortages, overstocking or preventable returns. The JDA Store Optimizer then uses this precise inventory data to automatically identify, prioritize and assign tasks that sales associates need to carry out to optimize operational efficiency, while freeing the store manager to spend more time making decisions that will improve store performance and increase revenue.

To put it simply, we know the future of retail because we’re building it with Intel. So we see the problems of today and both companies see what we need to do to solve them, but with an eye to the future.

 

Q: Data security is a hot topic these days. How is that being addressed with this retail technology solution?

A: When we deal with privacy, we always talked about opt-in [being] enabled right into the platform. From an application provider perspective, the core platform is built from the ground up with security in mind. We also want to make sure that data can be isolated per application, so that if a retailer has their specific set of data they’re bringing, it’s only for them and they know they can trust that verified data. So, that kind of end-to-end security is built in from the ground up. Then there’s end-to-end data encryption, as well, to help guarantee the security and privacy of the data.

 

Q: What about privacy? How is that being addressed with this solution?

A: From my perspective, privacy is very personal. Some people are completely OK with giving that away; other people are very guarded about it. Only 43 percent of shoppers say they are comfortable giving up personal data to a retailer — even if it is to improve their shopping experience. This is a relevant and prescient issue to retailers today. And so, when we’ve tried to approach it, we’ve said there needs to be a way to opt in; a loyalty program is a great way to do that, for example.

 

Q: Can you give us an example of some of the early results you’re seeing from a retailer that has piloted the JDA Store Optimizer?

A: I certainly can. We’re working with a specialty retailer in North America and are excited to see that we’re getting enormous response. I just received an email stating how pleased the associates are in that environment because they’re able to spend more time focusing on relevant customer engagement and that’s great news for us to hear. We know that this is so important from data that we have about customer behavior. Most consumers say that they want associates who are more knowledgeable and will leave a store empty-handed if they do not get the right person with knowledge to help them with purchasing products. A recent study shows that two in three shoppers who tried to find information within a store say they did not find all the information they needed; when they were unable to find the complete information, 43 percent of customers left the store frustrated; 22 percent said they were less likely to buy from that retailer and 41 percent more likely to shop elsewhere. It is so important to have engaged, knowledgeable and able sales associates and the JDA Store Optimizer enables sales associates to get back to the business of being available to customers rather than just running around the store in search of inventory.

 

Q: How do you see artificial intelligence coming to bear and being a part of this platform in the future?

A: Artificial intelligence can help us precisely because we don’t live in a static world. If store shelves were always perfectly stocked and arranged then we probably wouldn’t have much of a need for it. But we live in reality. People buy things so the stock is changing constantly. Things are shuffled as people look at them. Customer behavior enables an opportunity to use pattern matching and artificial intelligence to really go look at those environments and say, hey, these events have happened where there’s a $5 item covering a $100 item that was really supposed to be on display; let’s have an associate go fix that to give me insight into the ROI of an endcap. Was it actually stocked properly? Did people interact with it? I think we can learn over time, make it much better and make that store truly responsive. In a way, the store itself is learning. The platform helps the store learn so it can keep up in near-real time with the changes that are happening in consumer behavior and the retail environment. Moreover, there’s no lag time. You’re not being caught unaware.

Visit intel.com/retail to learn more about how Intel technology is shaping the future of responsive retail. To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

The post Future of Brick and Mortar Begins With Responsive Retail: 7 Questions With JDA appeared first on IoT@Intel.


Source: Network News

The Path to the Enlightened City: Smart Streetlamps

For a glimpse of the future, look at the cities of today.

The vast majority of economic activity, innovation, and energy consumption already happens in urban areas, leading 77 million people to relocate from rural to urban areas every year. The number of megacities (containing more than 10 million people) has doubled over the past two decades, with the developing world leading the way.

This represents an incredible opportunity: Cities are more productive, offering jobs, improved quality of life, and escape from poverty for millions around the globe. But the UN warns that urban growth needs to be properly planned to avoid serious issues like pollution, traffic and crime. Given the sheer scale of today’s cities, managing them is no easy task.

An urban scene.

Luckily for mayors around the world, we are seeing Internet of Things (IoT) technology bring the urban landscape into the digital age. The proliferation of connected devices lays the foundation for the “smart city,” which features systematic data collection in real time. This benefits residents and administrators alike, offering instant insights and actionable recommendations that improve the smooth functioning of the city.

While this technology is more critical than ever, rolling out IoT infrastructure can provide a challenge. How can you place new sensors across an entire metropolis?

The answer lies in something unassuming and ubiquitous: the streetlight.

Intel has partnered with General Electric and AT&T to create CityIQ intelligent nodes, which fit onto any streetlight. These nodes can be embedded with a range of cameras, microphones, and sensors, offering the perfect platform for smart city features such as parking assistance, gunshot detection, weather monitoring, emergency response, and much more.

Smart streetlight sensors.

This February, San Diego announced it would upgrade 3,200 streetlights with the new technology, making it the largest known urban sensor program in the world. The city expects more than $2.4 million in savings per year in energy costs, which offsets the cost of installation through a 13-year lease purchase agreement. This experience is not unique—connected lighting systems pay for themselves twice as fast as regular lights.

More important, San Diego is establishing a diversified technology hub on every block. City law enforcement can use intelligent nodes to respond faster to emergencies, collect situational intelligence, and detect gunshots. Sensors have the capacity to collect traffic information, reducing congestion and offering data for smarter travel recommendations. Smart streetlights can monitor parking availability, help drivers find a spot, increase city parking revenues, and decrease the environmental and traffic cost of idling cars.

They can also collect air pollution levels on the hyperlocal level, using speakers or push notifications to send alerts to those nearby. Streetlights can be repurposed as Wi-Fi stations and include digital signage, offering new income streams for cities. This is just the beginning: CityIQ’s open architecture means that the possibilities are endless as smart city innovation continues.

With an eye on energy efficiency and cutting costs, many cities are already upgrading their streetlights. Cities can save as much as 80 percent of their lighting costs by switching to smart LED lights, which can dim during off-peak hours to conserve energy. Adding sensors to new lights is the next logical step.

Right now, only 12 percent of the world’s 300 million streetlights have LED lights, and only 2 percent are internet connected. But that’s changing quickly as LED prices have fallen and environmentally friendly regulations kick in. The European Union—the world’s largest economy—now requires its member states to phase out incandescent lighting.

Lighting has a long history of bringing social change. Beginning in the 16th century, streetlights were introduced in an effort to bring law and order to cities. In the 19th century, gaslights changed the nature of work by illuminating entire households, which allowed family members to labor individually rather than in groups. Today we are on the verge of yet another revolution, with streetlights serving as the backbone of the smart city.

For more on Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

The post The Path to the Enlightened City: Smart Streetlamps appeared first on IoT@Intel.


Source: Network News

Reinvent the In-store Experience by Unlocking the Power of Data-driven Insights

Shopper behavior and spending habits are changing dramatically, causing the retail industry to face a period of significant disruption. As shoppers are empowered by mobile devices, social media and the Internet, they expect retail experiences that combine choice, convenience, superior service, and a clear understanding of their individual preferences. This shift has been heavily influenced by online giant Amazon and other similar companies, which use data-driven insights about product preferences and spending patterns to provide shoppers with enhanced experiences by giving them what they want, when they want it.

This intimate customer knowledge and the effective use of data and technology are paying big dividends for online merchants. Roughly eight in 10 Americans (79 percent) are now online shoppers, up from just 22 percent in June 2000, and 82 percent say they consult online ratings and reviews when buying something for the first time. While online shopping frequently offers lower prices, greater convenience, and many other benefits that brick-and-mortar retailers are struggling to match, 64 percent of Americans say that, all things being equal, they prefer buying from physical stores to shopping online.

With RFID technology, brick-and-mortar retailers can use this preference to their advantage by bringing the best of both the physical and online worlds to their customers, while answering all those age-old questions: How do I keep good track of my inventory? How can I provide a better customer experience to my customers? How do I optimize my workforce to get maximum effect on my bottom line?

Many retailers have reaped the benefits of RFID by taking that critical first step to implement RFID solutions in their stores. When it comes to choosing the right type of RFID investment—fixed/overhead or handheld—retailers should be careful of implementing a handheld solution that’s too basic and does not provide them with the complete picture. Fixed RFID solutions deliver maximum value to the retailer by not just providing ROI stemming from more accurate inventory levels, but through automating many of the store operations to enable associates to focus more attention on the brand, the product, and—most importantly—the customer.

Overhead RFID unlocks a wealth of data in the store, providing information and insight on customer preferences and interaction with product previously relegated to the online shopping space alone. While we are glad that retailers are exploring RFID in their stores, years of research and development in the smart retail space tells us only investing in the right technology will deliver the results and the value in today’s shopping environment. So what is the right option—overhead or handheld?

A person folds a sweater.
Overhead vs. handheld RFID

Overhead RFID has many advantages over handhelds, but in actuality, retailers don’t have to choose one over the other. There is a way to have the best of both worlds, and the most successful deployments will find the right mixture of both solutions. While many retailers may opt for a handheld first with some fixed sensors over portals or a point-of-sale approach due to what can sometimes be perceived as a lower cost barrier and more simplicity (a misconception addressed in a previous blog on RFID technology blog), this can result in a failed attempt to reap upfront benefits while minimizing the investment needed to implement a full overhead solution.

What this strategy also doesn’t address is the fact that consumer shopping patterns and behaviors are always changing, and the way products are placed throughout the store should reflect this reality. A portal might help to determine when an item moves from back stock to the sales floor or when it leaves the store, but where the item is in between those events will remain a mystery.

The winning approach: Augmenting a fixed solution with handhelds

Static point-of-sale stations have existed in retail since the first store ever opened, but—as Intel is deeply familiar with this—brick-and-mortar retailers find themselves at a crossroads with how they deal with online competition. Retailers continue to invest in mobile POS solutions, enabling store associates to assist customers anywhere in the store and reduce the friction of checkout. Many also aim to enable a frictionless self-checkout in the future. In this scenario, when and where the customer transaction takes place in the store is very much to be determined.

Even in a fixed RFID deployment that provides retailers with the real-time data they need, a handheld sensor may sometimes be necessary to search for exceptions in the store. But leading with a handheld solution supplemented with transition-based (portal) sensors will fall short of unlocking the full potential of RFID benefits since it will fail to provide retailers with the store coverage and real-time data ingestion they truly need. Augmenting a fixed solution with handhelds is the true winning approach: It will not only provide retailers with proper store coverage, it’ll give them real-time data ingestion too, hence providing e-commerce quality insights.

Intel Responsive Retail Sensor infographic

Intel RRS

A product like the Intel Responsive Retail Sensor (Intel RRS) could provide a viable long-term solution to retailers, as it delivers accurate, always-on, real-time data that gives brick-and-mortar retailers the best of both worlds—combining the convenience, speed, and selection of online shopping with the person-to-person service and opportunities for customers to touch and try on products that only brick-and-mortar stores provide. Using innovative technology solutions and data-driven insights to bring the advantages of online shopping into their physical locations enables retailers to transform their businesses and reinvent the in-store customer experience.

Visit intel.com/retail to learn more about how Intel technology is shaping the future of responsive retail. To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

The post Reinvent the In-store Experience by Unlocking the Power of Data-driven Insights appeared first on IoT@Intel.


Source: Network News

Future of AI-driven Brick-and-Mortar Begins with Responsive Retail

We don’t live in a static world. When I “look” toward the future, I see sensing, machine learning and deep learning leading us toward a time when artificial intelligence (AI) could enable more secure and actionable retail insights with tremendous results. I envision stores using technology that always knows if shelves are stocked or not, with merchandise arranged so that retailers can gain deeper insights into inventory delivery, immediate availability, and to stay ahead of the fashion trends that drive a near constant change in stock. I imagine a store where shuffled merchandise doesn’t mean lost merchandise but instead uses technology to know where items are located and uses pattern matching via machine learning and artificial intelligence to really understand the retail environment.

Connected retail technology could also enable retail staff to say, “Hey, there’s a $5 item covering a $100 item that was really supposed to be on display; l need to fix that so that I can have can have the insight into the ROI of this endcap.” It could enable them to know that a store is merchandized properly. That people interact with endcaps and individual items.

We at Intel, along with our partners, understand that retailers are looking for answers for real-time inventory management – from ordering and delivery tracking to delivering great customer experience through merchandising insights and optimizing a workforce for maximum results – a 360-degree view. I’m encouraged to see retailers moving down this path. Unfortunately, many times the quick pace of digital disruption has resulted in islands of technology that have been cobbled together, making it difficult for retailers to glean that full 360-degree view of the store that leads to actionable insights. As technology leaders, we can help enable technology solutions that seamlessly support retailers.

A woman shops for shoes.

 

Localizing Inventory Management Solutions

From my perspective, improving inventory management can solve several retail issues at once. It’s a quick, cost effective entry point for most retailers. Why? First, it’s not just a missed sale if the inventory is not in its place, but it affects the customer experience. Whether a retailer offers an inviting and easy-to-understand sales process is completely irrelevant if the product isn’t on the shelf. So, for me, that’s where it starts. Inventory visibility allows for immediate localization because they’re seeing the real-time demand. Imagine a sales associate wondering, for weeks, if Christmas sweaters have arrived into a Phoenix, Ariz., store only to find out they are not due to arrive until May? It makes absolutely no sense yet hiccups in the supply chain like this occur every year. If a near real-time inventory management solutions was in place, then the retailer would have direct insights into the supply chain and could make merchandise adjustments, and understand the buying habits of not just customers, but individual stores and whole communities. The retailer could then instantly replenish inventory, or not, based on real-time demand.

One solution along these lines that I’m particularly excited about is the JDA Store Optimizer, supported by the Intel Responsive Retail Sensor. Built on Intel technology, it offers retailers an intelligent technology solution to help manage and overcome retailer’s business challenges. It tracks inventory accurately, so you always know where items are located and how many are in stock while also automatically updating store associates’ tasks. Having near real-time inventory data makes it easy to run lean, save time and money and replenish products as needed with little risk of shortages, overstocking, or preventable returns. The JDA Store Optimizer then uses this precise inventory data to automatically identify, prioritize and assign tasks that sales associates need to carry out to optimize operational efficiency, while freeing the store manager to spend more time making decisions that will improve store performance and increase revenues.

A hand touches a kiosk screen.

 

Enhancing Data Security and Privacy

Along with inventory insight, data security and privacy are also hot topics with retailers. When retailers deal with privacy, they approach it from an opt-in, as an enabled right into the platform. From a purely application perspective, the core platform is built from the ground up with security in mind. It’s also important to make sure that data can be isolated per application, so that if a retailer has a specific set of data they’re bringing that it’s only for them and they know they can trust that verified data. This kind of store-to-cloud security is built in from the ground up. Then there’s end-to-end data encryption, which helps strengthen data security and privacy.

From my perspective, privacy is personal. Some people are completely okay with giving away their details; other people are very guarded about it. Only 43 percent of shoppers say they are comfortable giving up personal data to a retailer—even if it is to improve their shopping experience. This is a relevant and prescient issue to retailers today. Our approach is that there needs to be a way to opt-in, a loyalty program is a great way to do that. If you paired that with opt-in facial recognition through smart video systems in stores, then the solution could also tap into more anonymized demographics to inform store layouts and endcap optimization. Do families with children tend to spend time in certain areas of the store? What about groups of female or male shoppers? That kind of anonymized demographic information could provide valuable insights.

As we approach close to 50 percent of shoppers opting-in to share their data, it’s clear that a growing number of consumers see the value in a more personalized experience. I really think it’s about what level shoppers want to opt-in and loyalty programs are probably the best approach. Moral of the story is we’re not creating the big brother state of retail. People are asking for more personalized experiences and technology can help enable that for them.

A shopper is pleased that her local store uses the Intel Retail Sensor Platform for inventory tracking. As a result, she just scored the best bag ever.

 

Enabling Tremendous Insights

Consumers also say that they want associates who are more knowledgeable and they want to get the right information from the right person. They want

associates who are knowledgeable about products and can recommend products which would be of best value to them and of highest quality. A recent study shows that 2 in 3 shoppers who tried to find information within a store say they did not find all the information they needed; when they were unable to find the complete information, 43 percent of customers left the store frustrated; 22 percent said they were less likely to buy from that retailer, and 41 percent more likely to shop elsewhere. It is so important to have engaged, knowledgeable, and able sales associates and the JDA Store Optimizer enables sales associates to get back to the business of being available to customers rather than just running around the store in search of inventory.

I think we can learn even more over time to make store truly responsive. In a way, the store itself is learning. The platform helps the store learn and as the store learns, it keeps up in near real-time with the changes that are happening in consumer behavior, and the retail environment. Moreover, there’s no lag time. You’re not being caught unaware.

As we’ve seen, successful retailing comes down to one thing: getting the right product into shoppers’ hands. That may sound simple, but success requires inventory accuracy, efficient sales associates, and the flexibility to quickly adapt to shoppers’ needs in near real-time. Thanks to today’s emerging retail technology solutions I’m convinced that the retail industry’s future has never looked brighter!

Visit intel.com/retail to learn more about how Intel technology is shaping the future of responsive retail. To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

The post Future of AI-driven Brick-and-Mortar Begins with Responsive Retail appeared first on IoT@Intel.


Source: Network News