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Dx3 features interactive experience for the future of retailing


Text and photos by Sonya Davidson

At this year's Dx3 Conference and Trade Show in Toronto, a number of interactive companies featured in the Retail Collective Lab. Curated by Doug Stephens (aka The Retai Prophet) the space offered us a glimpse into the future of how we do business. Actually, not even in the far future...but for some of the companies featured, the future is now.

Eyeris is a deep learning based emotion recognition software that reads micro-expressions. In stores, this can help managers and sales people determine when people are most likely to make a purchase as well as understanding emotional response from customers in real time. Reading the response is quite straight foward with a variety of emotions measured inlcuding joy, surprise, disgust, anger, fear..yes, sounding a bit like the Inside Out Movie. 

The Canadian debut of Pepper, the world's first humanoid robot, was a hands-down draw for show attendees that didn't seem to want to leave the booth. Created by Softbank, this robot's artificial intelligence can interact with humans on a number of levels by detecting and reacting to facial expressions and vocal tones. Pepper appear to be responsive to situations even when we had visited. One needed a break from all the cameras and went to a quiet corner of the booth. When approached and requested to "present yourself", Pepper responded with an extended arm for a handshake and a "Please to meet you." When we were told it was a bit tired and needing a break an immediate "awwwww" expression came out of me and Pepper responded with "Can I get a hug?" 

Pepper is currently in the the Asian and European markets mostly in retailers using the technology as a way to interact with customers in stores. They are used to welcome, inform and amuse customers and now being adopted into Japanese homes. 

Vizera's smart projection devices featured a sofa couch in their show space giving attendees a demonstration of how the accuracy of their projections can help people discover colour and pattern options to help decide on purchases. Fabric IQ Engine helps  personalize fabric selections and 3D texturing enhances the retail experience when making these tough decisions. Smart beaming techology with Vizera emits special beams that will only illuminate certain objects. The technology is accurate and would be useful for interior designers and even clothing brands. 

You can find out more about the companies, and others, featured at Dx3 in this link here: Retail Collective Lab 

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