News / Science & Technology

    Retailers Eye New Technology to Lure Customers

    The definition of modern retailing is evolving as retailers look at using new technology to help lure more customers. New York’s Convention center was the site of the 103rd National Retail Federation expo, where some of the latest innovations were center stage.
     
    It’s called the Big Show for a reason. Thousands of companies and hundreds of thousands of prospective customers came, all seeking that one thing that will give them an edge.
     
    With new technology, every screen and surface becomes an opportunity to engage with customers. Images can be shared so friends and family can weigh in. Even the dressing room mirror becomes a vehicle for sales. Intel's Tyler Hoffman discussed one of his company’s displayed products: the "Memory Mirror."
     
    “It is designed for trying on clothes, shopping for apparel in store, [to] make that experience digital, social and interactive,” said Hoffman.
     
    The mirror captures a 10-second clip of a customer trying something on; when they try on a second outfit, the mirror recognizes them and captures that as well. Afterwards, customers are able to review their previous try-ons in front of the mirror.
     
    The images can also be shared via text, email or social media.
     
    A motion-activated screen by Scala lets prospective customers swipe through watches with a wave of a hand, using technology to get closer to the product.
     
    Peter Cheran, the chief technical officer of Scala, said the product offers something new.
     
    "It’s novel, it’s fresh, it’s engaging, it’s easy to use. It’s what people are expecting out of technologies from their video games, from their smartphone. It creates a novel experience,” said Cheran.
     
    Jerrard Shiffman, the inventor of the Perch interactive system, pointed out that every surface in a shop offers the owner a chance to display information.
     
    “Over the entire store, every surface can become a platform for media display.  Because the way that people consume media now, it’s on their iPhone, they’re sort of surrounded by it, it’s sort of strange in retail stores that hasn’t happened yet. It’s not a media experience,” said Shiffman.
     
    Ryan, the owner of a surf shop, likes the concept.
     
    "I can see a customer coming up. It’s definitely engaging, you… see the imagery and all that… It feels like you are working with a 3D smartphone almost," said Ryan.
     
    Even the old-fashioned scale’s surface has changed. The Tellermate counts a stack of money by its weight. In tests, it was never incorrect and took only a second or two do its job. It saves time, which equals money.
     
    The international retail landscape is expected to change more in the next 10 years then it has in the past 50 years, due largely to new technologies and the internet.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora