January 12th I headed off to Las Vegas to participate in my first CES show. It was certainly an amazing experience – the show floor was bigger than any conference I had ever seen. I presented a mini-keynote on the future of retailing at MommyTech . I highlighted the huge opportunity that is present in the next few years as the virtual world of the internet is melded with physical presence of stores. Intel’s vision of the Connected Store of the future will integrate the personal data from your mobile device with platforms at the retailer that are intelligent, connected and secure so that you have an endless assortment of inventory to choose from. Retailers will see better margins as they are more likely to meet pure demand signals and lower costs through accurate inventory management. The exciting thing is the technologies are here today to make this a reality.
The next day I flew on to New York City for the 101st Annual National Retail Federation show. I was honored to attend the Retail “ROI” super Saturday event that pulls the industry together to help 143M orphans globally. The show on Monday and Tuesday of that week was action packed and the Intel booth was certainly a “must see” as part of the show. Some key trends I saw in demos at the event:
- Gamification - This is making the user experience more enriching by having the consumer play a game as they go through the purchase process. We had two examples in the Intel booth- playing a Cadbury Egg slingshot game as part of the Kraft DijiTaste platform, or making your own pizza with Wolfgang Puck and all his Pizza gadgets as part of our HSN experience wall.
- Security- Top of mind with retailers after a weekend hack of Zappos.com was how do they maintain vigilant security measures amidst changing technology. We highlighted in our booth our alliance with McAfee and the ability to “build-in” a secure layer below the operating system on platforms.
- Customization- Whether it was the Cisco “Magic Mirror”, the “FaceCake” demo in the Microsoft booth, or using Intel AIM Suite to determine age range or gender – Retailers are looking for ways to better meet the specific needs of the customers they service. Intel has done years of ethnographic work in this space to try to anticipate what trends will materialize and when.
Lastly- it was refreshing to see so many partner organizations continuing to innovate around the Intel processor. Whether it was the new scanning tunnel from WinCor Nixdorf, or the Universal Bill Acceptor in NCR ATMs, self-service checkout from HP or amazing displays from NEC it is always fun for me to see the innovation that is enabled by our humble silicon!
I look forward to the next year and seeing what innovation is now spurred based on the interactions at CES and NRF !
(giving a booth tour to a member of the press)