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Retail and Hospitality

The future of retail on display in Paris

Several Microsoft partners demonstrated intelligent systems for European retailers this week at Microsoft TechDays at the Palais des Congres de Paris.

The demonstrations from Psion, Mood Media, Datronic, GlobeCast, WanPulse, Mettler Toledo and IntuiSense illustrated the future of retail technology through visual displays, handheld devices and checkout terminals with integrated data solutions that streamline shopping, purchasing and customer engagement.

One of the most interesting innovations on display was IntuiSense Technologies’ vending machine built on the Windows Embedded platform with Kinect for Windows lets users browse bottled drinks via hand gestures and touch to choose a product, then loads a game of baseball to play.

Intelligent systems cater to any size or type of retailer, and all connect to the back end to provide the retailer with invaluable business intelligence

Lorraine Bardeen, Microsoft
Beverage companies using the new machines report that they have seen vending machine sales double over six months to a year.

In the cinema demonstration Psion showcased how a customer can buy a movie ticket online, automatically sending a QR code directly to the customer’s Windows Phone.

When the customer arrives at the cinema, the QR code on the phone display is scanned using a Psion EP10 running Windows Embedded Handheld, which automatically updates ticket availability for the show.

Elewhere, Mettler Toledo’s high-end measuring scale running Windows Embedded POSReady is targeted at customers looking to boost the sales of fresh foods and sweets.

Ads displayed on the customer-facing side of the device enable retailers to cross-sell and upsell their products, encouraging shoppers to spend more in-store.

Microsoft estimates, based on 2011 IDC semiconductor market data, that by 2015 demand for intelligent systems within the retail industry will grow from its current level of around 15 million units to more than 28 million units.

“Retailers are beginning to understand the value of intelligent systems,” said Lorraine Bardeen, marketing director for the Windows Embedded business for Microsoft EMEA. “The systems cater to any size or type of retailer, and all connect to the back end to provide the retailer with invaluable business intelligence.”

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