The Innovative Retail Laboratory IRL is an application-oriented research laboratory of the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence DFKI, which was installed in St. Wendel in the head office of the German chain store GLOBUS SB-Warenhaus Holding. This close cooperation with Globus experts provides the individual projects with the possibility to concentrate on the precise demands and potentials of future self-service stores and accelerates the implementation of research results.
In IRL we conduct testings in a large number of different fields all connected to intelligent shopping consultants, which range from a virtual assistant responsible for matters of dieting and allergies, over a digital sommelier, to personalised cross and up selling, smart items in digital product memories as a further development of the RFID technology, indoor positioning and navigation as well as new logistics concepts, to see whether they are suitable for everyday life and prove to be useful for the clients.
New ways of interaction are developed and tested for implementation: among these are personalised shopping assistants, "talking" products as well as intelligent shopping carts, which plan and show your route through the store according to your shopping list, and which also give you advice on what to buy for the recipes you have in mind, they compare products, point out special offers in a personalised way and give you additional information about the products.
IRL will not only focus on concepts and technology that only regard the self-service store of the future as a place for shopping, but the relation between the store and its clients begins before the shopping trip itself takes place through an individual shopping preparation and a personalised presentation of offers at home, and this relationship will be continued afterwards as well through advice that is given about purchased goods and about how to use them.
On 500 square metres IRL provides a unique infrastructure for intelligent shopping environments. The public will be invited to experience demonstrators, recent developments and visions for the future of shopping on a first hand basis during selected events and guided tours.