As quickly as technology is reinventing your shopping experience, Intel doesn't think it's moving quickly enough. The chip giant is launching a Responsive Retail Platform that creates a common set of sensors, software kits and other components for in-store tech. It promises to speed up inventory tracking, provide feedback on buying habits and personalize your shopping. Stores might not have to cobble together separate solutions or make their own -- they'd just have to turn to Intel and partners for everything they need.
The company is also backing up its words with cold, hard cash. It's investing over $100 million into the retail industry over the next 5 years to help get the ball rolling.
It's not certain just what a complete Intel solution looks like. However, the company is showcasing the kind of technology it wants to see. Simbe Robotics' Tally keeps tabs on store shelves, for instance, while ShopperMXTM HIVE gives retailers a virtual reality preview of store layouts. In short: if it's Intel-powered and pushes technological limits, there's a good chance the company is thinking about it.
Intel probably isn't the first name you associate with retail, but it certainly has clear incentives to jump into this space with both feet. More than anything, it's a way to accelerate Intel's fledgling Internet of Things business -- someone has to design the sensors those stores will use. It also serves as one more hedge against a declining PC industry. It's hard to know if shops will welcome Intel with open arms, but something tells us that the company is willing to wait until people warm up to its presence.