Author: Steve Jennis, SVP Business Development | IOTech
IOTech made its first-ever appearance at the NRF show
(National Retail Federation 2020 in New York City, Jan 11-14)
Intelligent Loss Prevention
IOTech’s Edge Xpert platform was selected by two retail heavy-hitters, Intel Corporation and HP Inc. to power their demos of edge computing for retail use cases. The primary use case on show was Intelligent Loss Prevention - that is, how to maximize the customer convenience of self-service checkouts, while minimizing the potential losses suffered by the retailer. Self-service checkouts are now commonplace in supermarkets and growing fast in other stores, but the limited integration of data from the discreet devices and applications involved (e.g. bar code scanners, connected weighing scales, POS systems and video cameras) means they are prone to misuse and fraud (examples of that are the subject of a totally different type of blog). However, through innovations at the edge, live integration of this data and the addition of integrated user interfaces allows for misuse to be identified in real-time and store staff immediately alerted to ‘help’ the customer and investigate.
In the future, the local processing of available data using advanced technologies such as machine learning can provide additional scope for loss prevention and better understand customer behavior. Furthermore, the potential for additional edge computing solutions to address other retail use cases (e.g. optimizing customer traffic patterns, better staff allocation/deployment practices and personal real-time marketing, etc) is easy to envisage after viewing these demos.
The traffic through these demos at both the Intel and HP booths was heavy and continuous (and by appointment only at the Intel ‘Giving Retail the Edge’ booth) and it would be remiss to not mention the other vendor partners involved in creating the demos, namely Edgify, Flooid (formerly PCMS/Datafit) and Shekel, who all contributed to a very successful four days of impressive marketing and showing the art of the possible.
The Role of Edge Xpert
Edge Xpert is our commercially supported and enhanced version of the EdgeX Foundry open source edge platform. In these demos, Edge Xpert enables the integration of the different devices used at the self-service checkout so that the data can be collected and normalized into a compatible data set over which pattern analysis can be applied. All of this data collection, normalization and analytics is performed at the edge which means that suspicious behavior can be spotted right away. As well as providing the edge platform, IOTech engineers helped to develop some of the user interfaces and dashboards that help demonstrate the type of information that can be identified and presented to the retailer in real-time.
Please get in contact with us at IOTech if you are interested in understanding how Edge Xpert can support your smart retail edge use cases. FIND OUT MORE.