Innovative Retail Laboratory - Investigating Future Shopping Technologies
The Innovative Retail Laboratory (IRL) is an application-oriented research laboratory of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) run in collaboration with the German retailer GLOBUS SB-Warenhaus Holding in St. Wendel. In this living lab, we conduct research in a wide range of different domains all connected to intelligent shopping consultants, which range from a virtual assistant responsible for matters of dieting and allergies, over a digital sommelier, to personalized cross and up selling, smart items with digital product memories as a further development of the RFID technology, indoor positioning and navigation as well as new logistics concepts, to see if they are suitable for everyday life and useful for customers. New ways of customer interaction are developed and tested for implementation. The range varies from personalized shopping assistants to "talking" products and intelligent shopping carts, which plan and show the way through the store according to your shopping list. Furthermore they can give advice on what to buy for the recipes you have in mind, they compare products, point out special offers in a personalized way and give additional information about the products. However, the concepts and technologies that regard the self-service store of the future as a place for shopping are not IRL's only focus. The relation between the store and its customers begins way before the shopping trip itself takes place. It starts with an individual shopping preparation and a personalized presentation of offers at home and will be continued afterwards through advice that is given about purchased goods and information about their use.