#Trailblazing Tech: A New Hope

14 Apr 2021 | Culture

#Trailblazing Tech: A New Hope

By Tim Abayomi-Cole

Each month, we cut through the noise to share a curated selection of the latest tech innovations with the potential to positively impact your Today, Tomorrow and Them Days After That.

With April’s #Bluepaper investigating how businesses and brands can set themselves up for success in this brave new world, this month’s Trailblazing Tech takes a look at the hardware and software that businesses can and should employ to ensure they stay relevant moving forwards.

Today, Tomorrow…

In the week that non-essential retail shops reopened, With some retailers like John Lewis estimating that between 60-70% of their future sales will come from online in the future, it’s vital that the physical stores that have managed to survive lockdown restrictions now equip themselves to best attract footfall once more.

Market research by Brain Corp, a San Diego-based AI company, shows that retailers are aware of the immediate need to modernise. Over half of respondents said they’d be involved with an in-store robotics project within the next 18 months, with applications spanning the automation of tasks e.g. delivering goods from the back warehouse to store shelves and collection of environmental data to improve the customer experience.

As trailblazers go, Amazon continues to be at the forefront of bringing innovative tech to a retail audience, with 29 Amazon Go stores announced or opening in locations across the UK and the USA. Incorporating advanced technologies like computer vision and deep learning algorithms, once a customer scans a barcode on entry to the store, any item they place in their basket or put back on the shelf updates a virtual basket which, upon leaving the store, without the need to visit a till or cashier, automatically and accurately charges their account.

At the other end of the digital scale, retailers willing to make smaller investment leaps in improving customer UX are also priming themselves for success. Chop’d, the create-your-own salad bar, have elevated their digital product features by partnering with QikServe, app developers, to provide their customers with a new click and collect offering which, for busy customers, will provide a more seamless grab-and-go experience.

So no excuse remains for retailers who have stalled thus far on upgrading their physical shopping environments.

…Them Days After That

Whilst the lifting of lockdown restrictions will arguably have a huge effect on the future of retail, a return to ‘normality’ will also undoubtedly change the way in which we view the world we live in. Confined to our homes for the past year in unprecedented circumstances, we’ve all become acutely aware of the fragility of the society that we live in and the planet we live on. Notably, in the biggest year for streaming services, it was documentaries like David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet, I Am Greta and Seaspiracy which really sparked conversation about the need for us all to become more sustainable.

And whilst streaming platforms are talking the sustainability talk, they’re also starting to walk the walk. DIMPACT, a collaborative project with world-class researchers from the University of Bristol and thirteen of the world’s most innovative media companies including Netflix, BBC, ITV and Sky, has been developed to show streaming platforms the carbon footprint that their content leaves when viewed by consumers.

In doing so, DIMPACT allows for emissions hotspots to be identified by media platforms and for their services to be redesigned to be greener – i.e. moving TV shows and movies to local data centres where consumers are watching them and turning devices that are no longer being watched off sooner, saving power. So as lockdown restrictions continue to ease, and our viewing habits reduce, so too should the environmental impact of our streaming.

Is it time your business took a proactive approach to its environmental impact?

Here at Perq Studio we’re continuously looking ahead to see how we can best support businesses to adapt and thrive, maybe you should too? Get in contact and let’s see how we can get to great.