Technology Sitings at #NRF11

My colleague Will & I are in NYC this week for some NanoLumens demos & decided to walk this year’s NRF show. Below are some of the neat technologies we saw there that left an impression on us.

For starters, gesture interactivity is IN! after playing a bit of Microsoft Kinect, we went out looking for retail applications for this type of motion sensing technology.

Where is the retail play?

We ended up finding our first example at the Stratacache booth. There they had a two, portrait screen example of a retail sign of which the copy could be changed by hand motions. I’d like to see a call-to-action or incentive, but this type of idea is certainly going places in retail. The neat thing about this technology is that it doesn’t need an entire extra hardware enclosure…just the camera peripheral plugged in to the media player through USB. We had a bit of fun with it, check it out here:

The next stop was the Intel booth where we ran into David Weinfeld. David is the king of retail digital interactivity and together we explored a Kraft foods kiosk that connected with your membership card and grocery list. This app provided suggested add-on items and relevant recipes to the user. It seemed to me that an app like this would have some legs if it could streamline purchase decisions. I wasn’t able to get the deal on video but I did capture it turning David into a bobble head doll. So at David’s expense…

The rest of the Intel booth was impressive and really proved that they are investing in digital signage and new ways to optimize signs through interactivity.

The next technology I really liked is the iAPS hardware by Daily Systems. This is an iPhone/iPod accessory aimed at retailers used for mobile point of sales applications among many other applications. You’ve probably seen this type of service if you’ve bought anything at the Apple store, but iAPS is more extensible. The product can scan smart cards, charge credit cards, print bar codes (including QR), scan bar codes, and print receipts or reports. Its built for POS applications but can also be used for functions such as inventory control, route/fleet control, etc. The hardware is also built to allow you to create your own fitting software app. Here is a quick intro of the product:

Lastly was something that I found to be really cool. The company is ZBD, and they create electronic labels for products on retail shelfs. Using epaper technology (similar to the display in the popular eReaders), this product removes the need for paper labels and allows the retailer the ability to change any product-related information on any screen, anytime from the web. In addition to their functionality and chance at upsell/ROI, these displays looked gorgeous and can be acquired cheaper than other digital display technologies. Here are some examples…

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