27th November 2014

On the 18th November Magentys hosted an event with Red Ant and Instoremedia discussing retail technology.

Topics included:

  • The latest in-store technologies to enhance customer experience for premium brands
  • The importance of the multi-channel consumer
  • The future of technology such as wearables and beacons, including personalisation with increased privacy

Our first speaker Craig Smith, Digital Director at REPL Group gave a presentation about ‘How wearable devices will disrupt retail’. There has been an upward trend in adoption and interest of wearable technology of recent with the potential of products such as Google Glass and a variety of smart watches being made available. Craig discussed how the predicted increase in the use of these would lead to a shift in how consumers and companies would utilise them to enhance their services and shopping experiences. From navigation in stores to find products for consumers to being able to pay just from a simple tap on a table, wearables seem to sending our retail processes into a more technology focused age.


Alex Sbardella, Product Strategy Director at Red Ant spoke next on Simple Steps to Retail Innovation. He spoke about how the focus on customers and their personal likes and needs could be accessed by technology to help create positive retail experience. A key point of focus was to use technology to help a company learn about their consumers; ‘Cognitive systems think and learn like humans – but at big data scales’. He spoke about a number of simple steps that could lead to simple innovation (available on attached slides) and how to implement these successfully into an organisation which would reap benefits for both the company and the customer.


Our third speaker was Capito Systems founder Tony Ballardie who raised the point of how voice recognition could have a key implementation in eCommerce. He and his company had developed their own proprietary intelligent natural language understanding technology. Recognising that a number of issues prevalent in many eCommerce applications, such as search, navigation, and transacting. Locating relevant information quickly was looked at and this type of technology would make navigation for consumers quicker when looking for a product or information. His demo included some very impressive commands on a betting app, where he was able to bypass the apps standard structured navigation, to get quickly to the page he needed and he was able to search for a train on often convoluted train booking apps in a matter of seconds. The app showed great potential and brought plenty of engagement from our audience.


Our final speaker was John Muir, Managing Director and co-founder at INSM UK on the ‘The growing capabilities of ARM processor media players in digital signage’. Case studies on Marks and Spencer, Mothercare and Telia Sonera showed how digital signage could improve a company’s position and provide an enhanced experience for consumers. The ARM founded in 1990 in a joint venture between Acorn, Apple and VLSI had an architecture that combined high processing power with low power consumption and are prevalent and ideal in a number of mobile phones and tablet computers.  This meant relatively cheap media players were available to use them when using ARM for digital signage helping with costs, size and creating a lower footprint. John was then joined by Bryan Crotaz, CTO of Silver Curve to finish off the presentation by discussing how to best utilise ARM in digital signage and potential drawbacks and the direction it would be taking moving forward.

Attached below are links to Craig’s, Alex’s and John’s presentations








About Kayleigh Tiernan
Marketing Executive at MagenTys