Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality & Artificial Intelligence

How do you make sense of it all?

It is an interesting question, and the reason I attended the 106th edition of the National Retail Federation Big Show (NRF) to attempt to uncover the latest technology trends in the retail industry including Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), & Artificial Intelligence (AI).

NRF CEO, Matthew Shay sees it the same way which he described in his NRF opening remarks, “Augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and wearable devices are the major advancements enabling companies to craft shopping experiences 'like never before' and make 'dramatic changes' in the consumer experience”. To be clear, when I speak to VR, AR, & AI, I am not talking about SkyNet, bulletproof robots, and the hunt for Sarah Connor. I am talking about real world use cases that enterprise retailers can take advantage of to provide a better customer experience and to optimize their business performance.

To get the ball rolling, let’s provide a few definitions:

  • Virtual Reality – An artificial, computer-generated simulation or recreation of a real life environment or situation. An example would be a 3-D store shelf can adapt to offer items that make the most sense for each customer according to past purchases.

  • Augmented Reality - A technology that layers computer-generated enhancements atop an existing reality in order to make it more meaningful through the ability to interact with it. A good example from InContext Solutions at NRF is users could try out furniture in different colors and styles to see how the items fit with their living rooms

  • Artificial Intelligence - The capacity of a computer to perform operations analogous to learning and decision making in humans, as by an expert system, or a program for the perception and recognition of shapes in computer vision systems. An example would be a digital personal assistant on an e-commerce site that works with a customer, learns from that customer, and makes recommendations for that customer.

How do you make sense of #virtualreality, #augmentedreality & #AI in a #retail setting?

So we know what it is, how do we operationalize it?

To make emerging technology successful across the organization it must be integrated it into your existing systems, and processes. However, it also must be measured and adjusted based upon gathering data to work around the inevitable glitches in emerging technology.

The good news is at the crossroad between integrating systems and measurement is a modern business intelligence (BI) platform that can be seamlessly embedded into a new process or technology. A modern BI platform can also enhance or extend VR, AR, & AI as well, please take a look at the joint solution retail market basket analysis solution which leverages Narrative Science and their natural language generation capability interpreting data within visualizations with narratives changing on the fly as the user makes different selections in the dashboard.

You can also try out the retail market basket analysis solution demo showcasing how the Qlik platform and artificial intelligence work together in a real world practical example.


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