We took a look at the state of automation in New Zealand retail. In connection with that, we wondered, how much innovation is New Zealand driving in this area?
The amount of cutting-edge automation and AI going on within retail in New Zealand may seem limited. But tech-wise, Reid says, there is “a bunch of very exciting Kiwi companies” developing innovative retail AI solutions and exporting it to bigger markets.
One of these is Imagr, with offices in Auckland and New York, which has created SmartCart, a frictionless, ‘fill-and-go’ shopping solution that turns a customer’s basket in to a mobile checkout and integrates seamlessly with a retailer’s network. It offers many of the same conveniences as Amazon Go but, its creators say, can be implemented far more cheaply and with greater ease. It is not necessary to invest in sensors and cameras or change the store layout, for example.
Another is Labyrinth Solutions, one of the first companies in New Zealand to release facial recognition-enabled digital signage. Its smart digital signage can target different audiences, as it changes what is presented on screen based on the demographics of the person viewing it.
Christchurch’s RPM Retail offers cloud-based business intelligence but has effectively been providing AI to its clients for many years, says Reid.
This story originally appeared in NZ Retail issue 762 June/July 2019.