This year’s Paris Retail Week, the largest 360° retail event in Europe, was an assault on the senses.
Robots greeted you, holograms blinded you and nearly 1000 exhibitors scrambled to talk you through their latest retail innovations.
The Retail Gazette got stuck in, exploring hundreds of exciting products which will soon become commonplace in the retail sector across three jam-packed days.
Here’s our pick of the top five:
Sniffy is a start-up company promising to bring real life smell-o-vision to the retail masses.
The concept would see interactive screens laid out around retail stores equipped with a special Sniffy box, filled with numerous specially tailored scents.
By tapping an item on the screen, the box will release a mist of the scent, stimulating a customer’s “powerful memorising capabilities” that are triggered by smell.
As Sniffy says “sniff the smell of cooked meals when you are not hungry, be sure that you would probably be after.”
Though we did not get to see the Sniffy box in action, we can’t wait until this is rolled out in supermarkets across the UK.
Some of the most breathtaking display solution was Comactive’s holo-boxes.
Unlike other companies which use a fan to project a seemingly 3D image, Comactive uses plastic boxes to create 3D holograms which can be superimposed onto real life products.
This allows the displays to interact with products, creating a enhanced sense of realism and spectacle.
Its intuitive and fairly simple design means there is no reason this technology could not be rolled out across the sector in the coming months.
JD.com’s virtual mirror was one of the more disconcerting devices at the event, but also one of the most fun.
Stand in front of the mirror and it will superimpose a photo of your face onto a virtual body which is controlled by your movements.
Aside from showing you what you’d look like as a video game character, it allows you to try on a range of virtual clothes which represent real life products.
Though the realism of the superimposed virtual you leaves something to be desired, it is one of the most engaging uses of mixed reality available to date.
Should this be adopted anytime soon in the UK, there’s little doubt children and adults alike will be queuing to have a go.
Seeing your face be tracked like a scene from a spy movie on a television as you walk past, and then see a picture of your face automatically pop up in the corner is a disconcerting sight, and one that certainly caught my attention.
Though few shoppers may realise it, facial recognition technology is an increasingly important part of modern retail.
The ability to track, identify and analyse your shoppers is an invaluable resource and Ultinous’ technology is some of the most advanced on the market.
3D projected holograms have been around for some years now, and they just keep getting more mesmorising.
Hypervision is one of the most vibrant and awe-inspiring display technologies available, and is guaranteed to draw the eye of any shoppers passing your shop window.
What makes Hypervision especially suited to retailers is its accessibility and ease of use.
Retailers can design their own displays with easy-to-use software which requires no special training, with plenty of ready made content available in Hypervision’s content library.
This means the technology is widely available to smaller independent retailers, and will hopefully feature in more of them in the near future.