Images create Emotions…

…and emotions lead to interest. That is one of our thoughts behind Funky Retail. This video should explain what we mean. So please, see for yourself!

Just a short note on the analytics: The data we collect is merely an example to show that it is possible to connect the physical retail space. There may be other data that is more vital. The colourful, flashing lights also have the purpose to show that actions are recorded. We’re not necessarily saying future stores have to flash like crazy in all the different colours…(although we do think that would be quite cool).

Watch the Funky Interview here!

BIG Show

New York was just the right surrounding for two big premiers. First of all we presented our brand new prototype, The Changing Room. And secondly Bert gave live demos of a prototype at an event. The only thing missing was a red carpet and screaming teenagers.

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The reason why Bert had the pleasure of trading his comfortable coding environment for the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, was that The Changing Room is basically “his” prototype. “Let him sort that one out”, we thought. And so he did. Everything worked, nothing broke down…neither machine, nor human. We can proudly state that the hybris labs Changing Room was a great success at NRF’s BIG Show 2015. If you don’t believe us, read what others say.

Apart from The Changing Room we also brought an old friend along, The Smart Wine Shelf! Haven’t mentioned it here for quite some time now… good old boy… always reliable, always doing its job, flashing nicely, attracting people, making them happy… awww……… Oh, and with it there on the photo is Sven, doing something…

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Time for a change

Imagine a lady shopping for clothes… no, actually don’t imagine a lady, picture yourself! Because the odds are pretty good you’ve already been in the following situation, or at least in one similar to it. So, let’s start again. You’re shopping for clothes. You’ve already been round town for a while and have had a fairly successful tour so far, with the result that you’re now carrying at a minimum of three bags around with you. Oh, and it’s winter which means you’ll also be wearing a thick jacket. All that’s left on your list is a pair of trousers. You find a pair you quite like, pick your size, walk to the changing room, put down your bags, take off your jacket, take off your shoes, take off your trousers, try on the pair you’ve chosen and… bugger! Wrong size… You now have a few options:

a)    You put back on your trousers and your shoes, take your jacket and your four bags,         look for the right size, and… you know the rest.

b)    You stay as you are, leaving your shoes, your trousers, your jacket and your five                bags in the cabin (hoping that nobody steels your phone and your wallet), and                    then walk through the shop half naked, searching for the right size. Then from the             top…

c)    You’re lucky enough to have a partner who accompanies you on your odyssey. So,          depending on your personality and relationship, you now either stick your head                 out of the cabin, communicate through the closed curtain, or your partner joins                 you in the cabin. In any case your belongings and your six bags are safe.

Does any of that sound remotely familiar? Oh by the way, this is how our new prototype works:

A changing room is equipped with an RFID scanner and a tablet computer. When an item (labelled with an RFID tag) is brought into the changing room, it will almost immediately appear on the tablet. By using the application on the tablet, the customer can choose a different size or colour, and have the selected item ‘delivered’ to the cabin. The customer can also select items to create a wish list which is sent to him via email.

A big thank you to the hybris UI/UX team for taking care of the design and Impinj for assisting us with the hardware!

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Changing Room live on stage at SAP d-kom! See more here!

Tiles in color, plus finalized arch poster

Now that we have all major events (except the hybris xmas party) behind us, we can finally focus on getting a few projects really finalized. Tiles  made huge progress over the last weeks and I just got the fully-colored tiles in, plus I have a finalized architecture poster that I want to share with you. Big kudos go out to Elke and DerGrueneFish, our booth building partners for this and most other projects. The tiles (21 in total, for 3 complete demo sets) are colored in 4 fresh colors for a change (no boring white!). I absolutely love the way they look.  Over one day, I was soldering the first 7 which are currently connected to one hub.

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For the poster, Kathi at SNK did an awesome job. I already ordered our poster which we’ll then present at the hybris summit 15 in Munich at our booth. Having a descriptive poster will greatly help us to explain the IoT setup for this prototype. Right now we expect to have cans on top of the tiles, so we made that part of the poster.

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Just to recap the architecture, have a read:

  • “Tiles” are the wirelessly connected platforms. We use Punchthrough’s LightBlue Bean and remove the battery holder to make the platforms 8mm high. We still use CR2032 batteries, which gives us about 1 week battery life right now. We would get more, but I send our a MetaEvent every 10sec which is hard on the battery.
  • The “Hub” collects all data. It scans for tiles, continuously, and connects. The hub runs on the raspberry pi, uses a BLE dongle (choice is key here) and uses node.js for all programming. It sends on data to the server with CoAP – a UDP-based IoT protocol.
  • The “Server” collects all data for all hubs (yep, there can be many) and provides the necessary APIs for managing the User/Tile association, authentication and authorization (Oauth2 used here), etc.

 

One change over the last days was that we can now associate products with the tiles. That means a store manager can just scan a tile (NFC or QR) and then add this tile to his private analytics page. The UI of these web pages is currently being worked on and will feature a few cool features such as a heartbeat every 10 seconds or the color of the scanned tile, that gets pulled via some static, factory-decided data. This system is all up and running now, currently with one live hub and 7 tiles connected.

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What’s left is the callback mechanism plus the web ui. The callback mechanism will “call out” to external systems for each event reveived. So if a LiftEvent is received and a webhook is configured, we’ll send out a HTTP Post to the configured external service. I also plan to pull in the product details from YAAS, hybris’ on demand API offering.

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Funky Retail

The next hybris labs prototype is coming soon. You might have read about the idea already here on our blog, but there have been a couple of developments. Funky Retail’s the name, in-store analytics is the game. With the Smart Wine Shelf we aimed to improve  the customer experience by the use of an recommendation system based on IoT technology. But we also realised that the Internet of Things offers ways to enhance in-store analytics. This is exactly what we focused on while designing Funky Retail.

On any standard shopping website, retailers know exactly when a customer visits,  know how long he stays, which products he looks at, for how long he looks at them, can recommend upsells and sees if the customer makes a purchase. Why should this not be possible in the physical retail world? That’s what we evaluate with Funky Retail. We identify the presence of a customer in front of a Funky Box; we count the product lift-ups; we measure how long a product is being lifted; and we even combined the individual product lift-up with the playback of an engaging product video.

To spice the whole thing up a little, we collaborated with the hybris customer Mammut. Mammut equipped us with some cool products that help us to put some more life into this prototype and round the story off. We don’t want to spoil the surprise, but we’ll give you a hint: A video shoot is scheduled with the hybris media team, and those guys have got a bit of climbing experience…

Watch the Funky Interview here!

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Let's get funky!

Lights. Colours. Changing colours. Flashing lights. We could just as well open a dance club! But then some genius suggested we should add some analytics…  I mean, honestly…

That slightly spoilt our groovy party mood (and the dancing), but gave us a great idea. We call it “Funky Retail” and it’s coming soon! Sven is soldering day and night to get everything finished. There’ll be distance sensors, pressure sensors and LED’s. Can you guess what we’re up to? Two more clues for you: it will be an in-store prototype and involves a big screen. What would you make out of all of this? If you’ve got an idea send an email to labs@hybris.com. The best idea will receive a reward, consisting of us stealing the concept, giving it a new name, and then writing about it here in our blog. What an honour! We’ll also let you know once we’ve got a patent on it.

FUNKY RETAIL IS COMING SOON! CLICK HERE FOR AN UPDATE.

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Don’t touch this!

Moving objects with the power of your thoughts… No, we haven’t mastered telekinesis yet, but we’re getting close. Our In-Store Display senses when you’re there, knows who you are and reacts to you hand movement. Spooky! Actually… it’s fairly simple.

We use a distance sensor to detect the presence of a potential user. A Beacon recognises if this user is logged onto Facebook. And at the heart of this prototype a Leap Motion Controller enables the gesture-based input.

Put into action, a customer can browse through a store’s entire assortment with simple finger movements. This is a playful way to let customers retrieve product information and the location of the desired product within the store.

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