Retail: IoT technologies with a romantic twist

Retail: IoT technologies with a romantic twist

Celebrating the best of IoT in retail this Valentine's Day
Celebrating the best of IoT in retail this Valentine's Day

Struggling for ideas this Valentine’s Day? All sorts of IoT devices are being connected to the Internet and, from the cheesy to the corporate, we’ve listed some that might be of interest to retailers this year.

Let’s start with the cheese…

Cognitive Candy

This isn’t any ordinary candy, and you certainly don’t swallow it. Cognitive Candy is a voice-controlled artificial intelligence (AI) assistant for makers, powered by IBM Watson.

It claims to be an open platform for exploring AI, cloud computing, and IoT.

A gimmick? Perhaps – but we think it’s also a creative way to get young romantics into programming, and to get people to buy your products. Give it a go!

Electronic IoT love heart

In a similar vein, developer Romin Irani has successfully created an internet-connected paper love heart that lights up when it receives a loving message.

Simply send it a text from your smartphone and watch as the heart lights up and erupts into a dance. Cheesy, but charming.

But there are also more direct ways that retailers can create value for their businesses and an enjoyable experience for their customers this Valentine’s Day.

Barclays

They could take a leaf out of financial services giant Barclays’ book, for example. The bank originally set up its self-pouring IoT beer pump to cope with busy periods in branches during the Christmas holiday, but what’s stopping them doing the same today – and retailers from following suit?

OK, so it’s still in pilot mode, but this time next year don’t be surprised to see other Valentine-themed IoT drinks services. Malibu and Martini are strong contenders after their own IoT offerings launched last year.

Alternatively, if beer’s not your thing, why not take your loved one for a romantic IoT-poured coffee? Nestle and Telefonica will sort you out.

Thomas Pink

But it’s not all about food and drink. Sophisticated retailer Thomas Pink has installed an IoT platform in one of its digitized New York stores.

This platform is supposedly tracking customer movements, analyzing shopper behavior, finding misplaced items and replenishing stock, and generally helping to personalize the overall customer experience.

If you’re struggling for Valentine’s Day ideas, why not treat your loved one to this enhanced shopping experience this week?

Thomas Pink is looking to digitise its New York store using IoT

Honeywell & Intel

Finally, while today is typically a day to celebrate romantic relationships between people, why not also celebrate some of the strong IoT partnerships that have formed between businesses over the years?

As companies realize they cannot go it alone with IoT, new corporate alliances are blossoming left, right and center, and most recently, where retail is concerned, is the alliance between tech company Intel and industrial giant Honeywell.

As these two companies team up to develop new retail products to enhance logistics, improve inventory visibility and drive supply chain efficiency, we expect to see many more companies join together to transform IoT in retail.

We’ll be discussing case studies like these and more at our 2nd annual IoT in retail conference in London this year…


The Internet of Things possesses the ability to greatly enhance the ways in which retailers engage with their customers. Advanced beacon, RFID, sensor, AI, VR and wearable technologies are offering new ways to improve loyalty and increase revenue. However, disassociation between the business and digital sides of companies, coupled with previous project failures and negative consumer feedback, can place a strain on new IoT projects.

This 2nd Annual Internet of Retail event will present case studies from some of the world’s leading retailers – organisations that have overcome implementation pitfalls and are successfully harnessing IoT to heighten the customer journey.