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Is the future of Retail Technology visual? | A review of Tech London Associates event Oct 3, 2017

computer vision event review retail technology Startup Visual Search

Retail Technology: A Visual Future?

This is a review of startup companies that we randomly met or which presented at the Tech London Associates’(TLA) Retail Tech meetup at River Island’s Shoreditch tech hub earlier this week.

Of the companies, three stood out with clearly defined use cases for machine learning and computer vision technology (popularised as AI). Combined with our earlier work on fashion technology: visual search we are starting to sense a visual theme developing in retail which may or may not combine the physical and digital retailing channels into True Omni Channel retailing.

The three companies anonymize data prior to analysis to comply with GDPR requirements.


  1. Hoxton Analytics

Hoxton Analytics can be summed up as the very latest development in footfall analysis. However, this is an overly simplistic view of their technology which allow retailers to analyse peel off traffic from the street, A/B test window designs as well as merchandising setup and much more.

Hoxton’s visual algorithm analyse and detect shoes with an astonishing accuracy and can create a demographic profile of the footfall outside your store and what percentage peel off you get as a retailer. The dashboard offers a simple overview with the relevant metrics.

We can see a future where Hoxton is used to maximise peel off footfall to your store by telling robotic fixtures where to locate and changing window displays to resonate with the passing traffic and the weather. The solution can be used by retailers, shopping mall operators, retail property agents, and many more.

One finding in central London has been at tube exits where the exit side of a road has twice as much footfall as the opposite side (without an exit) as most people do not cross over the street. This type of data can be used when making location decisions.

For more information about costs, installation, training, etc please contact Hoxton Analytics directly.


  1. ThirdEye Labs

ThirdEye use retailers existing CCTV infrastructure to feed its analytics engine determining in-store behaviour. For example, ThirdEye can tell if you have a section which require staff attention for replenishment or to clean the floor if a bottle has broken and spilled wine on the floor, if store visitors interact with certain sections of your store more than others, which products you should focus more on, if an item will be stocked out within a certain time frame, etc.

The management acknowledge there is an almost unlimited amount of use cases and are taking a very pragmatic route to roadmap development.

The company has 7 patents pending and at its very young stage has worked with Tesco over the last 12 months to develop their product. ThirdEye is backed by Nvidia Inception programme and have received VC funding.

We would recommend interested parties to contact ThirdEye directly for information on what quality of CCTV feed ThirdEye can analyse, pricing structure, etc.


  1. Sensing Feeling

We randomly bumped into the project leader at Sensing Feeling, which is a project developed in conjunction with Innovate:UK. The product is a combination of hard- and software; in simple terms it is a camera and software packed into a small black box placed conveniently to read (or sense) emotions of people in a number of different contexts. The box will be equipped with a SIM card enabling it to communicate with a central analytics engine.

Theoretically this could be used on top of a branded fixture to discover the emotional response to a particular brand or a specific product.

Find out more about Sensing Feeling here


Other notable startups at the event were:

Trunkaroo – subscription activity/craft boxes for primary school aged children

Syte – visual search technology (Israel) – download our free market report on FashionTech: Visual Search Technology here

Exaactly – Last mile solution eradicating missed deliveries with dynamic physical addresses

Mio Technologies – Self driving ‘vending robots’ for brands and retailers

Placedashboard – Aggregator of multiple application location data providing demographic visitor analysis to retailers

Avora – Media data analysis, bridging retailers and media companies


If you are interested in TLA and their activities please visit their website here

For more information on TLA Retail Tech or information on how to become a member please contact Simon Liss at Omnifi

The author is a TLA member.

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