New IoT platform from Intel to make shopping high-tech

By Mithun Mohandas | Published on 16 Jan 2017
New IoT platform from Intel to make shopping high-tech

Intel Responsive Retail Platform ties IoT and Cloud technologies to provide retail insights and make shopping easier


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Intel announced the Intel Responsive Retail Platform at NRF today. The scalable platform brings together IoT and analytics in the retail environment to help retailers get better insights about their stocks, thus, enabling a smooth shopping experience for customers. Intel plans to invest 100 million in this platform over the next five years.

The IoT market is huge and growing exponentially by the day. More and more startups have started coming up with solutions that help retailers to ensure a more efficient supply chain while also providing a more seamless shopping experience for customers. For example, there’s a startup called Maxerience which uses aisles hooked up with cameras to get real time stock information and then issue purchase orders accordingly. The Intel Responsive Retail Platform enables similar applications while scaling according to needs.

Intel is reportedly collaborating with Avery, Dennison, Honeywell, SAP and many more enterprises to develop solutions for enterprises. These solutions may make use of various permutations of RFID, video, radio and a multitude of other sensors. One such solution is Tally by Simbe Robotics which is an autonomous shelf auditing solution. 

What’s in Intel’s Responsive Retail Platform?

The Intel RRP consists of three major components – a sensor array, gateways to process sensor data and an open-source analytics platform on the cloud.

Sensor - Designed to function in highly dense environments, the Intel Responsive Retail Sensor is a multi sensor device relying on RFID and sporting an antenna to communicate with each other and the gateway. Future iterations are said to include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy and video. The sensor will be powered by an Intel Atom processor.

Gateway - All the sensors then talk to the gateway which can either be based off an Intel Core i7 or an Intel Xeon processor. Most of the sensor data can be processed at the gateway and increasing the processing power of the gateway adds to the scalability factor. 

Cloud - An open-source analytics PaaS is the last component of the Intel Responsive Retail Platform. Since it is open-source, it is not tied to any one vendor.

What’s in it for Retailers?

Such technologies will help shops figure out which items are low in stock, whether they are misplaced, etc. They can analyse which are of more interest based on external factors so that SKU counts can be adjusted. Retailers can even figure out which items are often sold out or are most commonly purchased in small quantities and can be moved close to the entry/exit points. 

What’s in it for you?

By tying in a VR platform, customers can shop from anywhere and have it ready for pick up just in time. Shops can have fewer employees focus on stock keeping and more on customers. Although, that’s unrealistic as these employees are likely going to fall victim to “restructuring”.

Since stores will learn your habits, they’ll always have stock of things you need. Also, since shopping habits will tie different categories of products, you’ll find more matching products. So your shopping experience will involve less of moving around and more of trying out.

Mithun Mohandas

While not dishing out lethal doses of sarcasm, this curious creature can often be found tinkering with tech, playing 'vidya' games or exploring the darkest corners of the Internets. #PCMasterRace

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