Posted By Simon Francis
I recently attended this year’s Retail Business Technology Expo (RBTE) at Earls Court in London. I often think that trade events focus on how bad a cup of coffee can be or how much the attendees are prepared to pay for a ham sandwich. However, RBTE was a real eye opener for me. It offers the opportunity for retailers to review the latest and greatest from the tech community and to hear from other retailers like Julian Burnett, head of retail architecture for John Lewis, who ran a great session on retail innovation.
The Retail Business Technology Expo in London brought some eye-opening intelligent solutions to light.
The first is a favorite of mine, the Motorola Smartbadge SB1, which I first saw at the National Retail Federation show in New York earlier this year. This is a great new device concept for store associates who may not traditionally have a solution to help them in their daily tasks. It is a compact device that is worn on a lanyard and provides task sequencing, controlled from a central management point, a barcode scanner for customer price and stock level look-up, and even a walkie talkie option to allow communication between a set of workgroup associates. I was lucky enough to have been provided with a demo device when they were first developed and it always gets retail customers interest when its demo’d.
Another interesting solution I looked was the K-class weigh scale from Bizerba. I took a colleague over to see them and we were pretty impressed. Not only is it a good looking device with ample processing power, but it also has two 12” screens and two printers. It’s a good example of what intelligent systems can offer in even the most demanding environments. With many connectivity options, the basic solution includes additional options, including presenting daily tasks and routines, showing associated product menu and cooking options and printing out recipes. There is even an option to show directions to the aisle location where the additional ingredients can be found--in short, it’s a great way to provide an extra service to the customer and upsell on other store products.
Crowds throng the exhibits at RBTE, where Windows Embedded partners showcased cutting-edge solutions.
The final device that stood out was the Freedom retail tablet from Digipos. This is a great new product which combines a tablet for associates with a retail-specific docking solution. This provides both the freedom to join the customer on the store floor for assisted selling and access to the typical peripherals and infrastructure via the. How long have we been waiting for a solution like this? You can read more about Windows Embedded solutions for retail here.
Looking forward to next year’s event.