The recently held NRF retail technology conference and exhibition was a good barometer of technology trends and the state of transformational thinking across the retail ecosystem and supply chain. Attendance was up from previous years to more than 36,000. Key buzzwords included social network influencers, engagement, digital merchandising, virtual fashion models and virtualized mannequins, AI and voice chat bots, NFC, seamless check outs, customization, digital signage and shelf labels, mixed realty merging real and virtual models via AR and VR, blending digital and physical, unified commerce and omnichannel, in-store experience and assistance, item and identity tracking and visibility, fulfillment and delivery, and machine-to-machine selling.
To enable the above requirements, technology continues to evolve from legacy barcode and RFID, which are still relevant and evolving, to beacons, which are starting to lose some of their momentum in favor of machine vision used for...
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