Ganesh Subramanian

Possibilities in Retail through AI & Robotics: From GiTex

By Ganesh Subramanian

Founder & CEO @ Stylumia

We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction – Bill Gates

The combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and  collaborative robotics has the potential to change the world. AI unlocks entirely new capabilities for robots, which, without AI, are rigid and unresponsive to the world around them. We were able to spot many real life applications at the intersection of robotics and AI. This edit is a recap of some of our observations. 

Lead innovations in retail will start to happen in the area of mass public consumption. By keeping a close watch here, you will be future-aware and get future-ready.
 
#1 Robotic Cocktail/ Mixologist

Cooking is an art for chefs, and when a mixologist readies a glass of drink to meet the customer’s expectations and satiate his thirst, it’s both art and science at play. Watch a robotic mixologist in action here or click the image.

#2 Shop Comes Home

Why go to a shop when the shop can come to your door step. A smart combination of Cab Hailing, Self-Driving Car and Shopping all in one. Watch this innovation here or click the image below.

#3 Robotic Pharmacy

From prescription to tendering the medicine, this robotic pharmacy is fully self-serve. With digitisation of the medical system, this explodes the possibility of using data to improve both the doctor’s diagnosis and future prescriptions. You can watch this innovation here or click the image below.

#4 Offline Retailing Personalised to One

With a face scan, pick up a self help scanner and start your shopping. As you scan an item, contextual offers, promotions, marketing messages pop-up. Complete your shopping, check out with your wearable. This is retailing to the level of one which best of companies are able to practice online now, coming to offline soon. You can watch this innovation here or click the image below.

Here is an unmanned store concept. Enter with your Face ID, shop and keep moving.

#5 Localised Automation

Automation need not be at the scale of a Store. This innovation is a clear example of automating one process, for eg., Check-out scanning. One of the key issues in bar code based scanning is many bar codes are not readable and there is plenty of time wasted and customers have to wait. This 3D scanning machine with computer vision can recognise the products irrespective of where the bar code is and even if the bar code is missing (using the image and text on the packaging). You can watch this innovation here or click he image below.

#6 Computer Vision: Possibilities

Computer vision provides machines, the cognitive capabilities which helps machines now to do a lot of skilled jobs at scale. The following possibilities are covered in the video below

a) Object Identification
b) Weapon Detection
c) Character Recognition
d) Personality Identification
e) Violence Detection
f) Emotion Detection
g) Drowsiness detection

You can watch this innovation here or click the image below.

#7 Smart Wall

This is a see through smart screen which can be fixed in malls or retail stores with a camera right on top. As the people walking by stop there, they will get personalised recommendations of brands and products. They can interact with the screen and shop. The walls collect information on the people who came using the camera and share the details on customer profiles and their interactions with the brands. Consumer research and interactions made simpler and at scale.

Social and humanoid robots will help us do a lot of mundane tasks in the time to come. I had the opportunity to interact with Sofia, the world’s first robot citizen, and Han (a humanoid robot created by Hanson Robotics). I also interacted with another mini social robot which converses with us and slowly becomes like ours, a huge potential in changing education and user interfaces in the time to come. We captured these memories below.

You can watch Sofia in action here or click the image below.

Hope these innovations are stimulating some thoughts in you for the business you are in.
 
With the capabilities of machines improving by the day, what we need to do as human is changing rapidly. If you are not seeing it, it is coming to you faster than you think. It is important for each one of us to look at the skillsets of our teams and organisations in this context to be future-ready.

Apart from bringing the AI technologies to fashion and retail industry, we at Stylumia would like to play a role in the skill enhancement with respect to understanding the technologies available today.

If you would like to know more about future skill-sets required for a fashion brand or retailer, please get in touch with me on the following  – Email: support@stylumia.com : Mob +91 8010812602