It was our first visit and a bit overwhelming initially. But as we found our footing it was quite a well arranged and impressive show, two more days to go though. However, the queue to Starbucks might well be the longest we have ever seen...
Some noteworthy exhibitors:
42Technologies - These guys seems like a business with traction. Their UK clients include AllSaints and they are close to signing up a major sports chain in the UK (which will be a big scalp indeed!). 42 is a business intelligence suite and must have something going for them, be it price or just really good functionality. We will be doing a demo with them and let you know.
Compucom - A company owned by Office Depot which is an IT integrator/maintenance type business. They have come up with a very interesting new solution they call "Self Healing Store" which is pretty much a solution that press the buttons your staff shouldnt but also avoid you calling out the IT guys for simple errors. For example, we created a problem with the printer and the software managed to identify and sort out the issue on the spot. Quite impressive. The software will, however, take up 30Mb of space on your till hard drive and add about 3% CPU load which may sound little, but is probably a lot for a legacy system.
Yi Tunnel - Worth a mention because they seemd nice bunch of guys and also had quite impressive computer vision technology baked into a fridge they had sourced on arrival in the US (even more impressive). China is encouraging the AI scene and this is another company in a long line to have received impressive [private] backing.
Zoom Systems - as far as vending machines go, this is where you will find the best designed and most advanced products. Amazing designs. The company operate as a normal vending company insofar they install and operate the machine for merchants. Apparently they operate 1,000's of machines worldwide, perhaps 30-50 of these in the UK with at least one machine in Heathrow T3.
From the Innvoation Lab
Innovation Lab... a bit too small for our personal taste but had some impressive businesses we have not seen before.
Revieve - the Finish company exhibited in the Innovation Lounge and produce a white label solution for checking your skin tone in-store or online and offers a range of products based on the results. Depending on the client they have anything up to 20% visitors clicking through. Some of their clients include ZofTop, Beauty Bridge, Nordic Feel, Chemist Direct and other travel & retail clients.
Finally, a bit of Gossip - We noticed Inditex were looking very carefully at an ASRS system for in-store use rather than warehouse automation use. Hrm... what could be in the pipeline?
Image from NRF registration hall