Jan 17, 2017 | By Benedict

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has announced that Intel will be developing in-store 3D knitting technology that will be part of the Intel Responsive Retail Platform (Intel RRP), a horizontal platform for connecting retail hardware, software, APIs, and sensors in a standardized way.

Intel is proposing in-store 3D knitting systems for fashion retailers

Only a short time has elapsed since Google futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted a huge rise in 3D printed clothing over the next decade, but it seems his prediction has just been partially validated by the Intel Corporation, the world’s most famous chipmaker and supplier of processors to computer giants like Apple, Dell, and Lenovo. Speaking at NRF Retail’s BIG Show 2017, a major retail exhibition in New York, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced the introduction of an all-new Intel retail platform, RRP, as well as the development of several sister technologies, including in-store 3D knitting machinery.

Although the main focus of Intel’s participation at the NRF exhibition was its new Responsive Retail Platform, a platform for connecting several areas of in-store technology in a standardized way, our attention was naturally drawn to the Silicon Valley company’s statement that it would be developing a system for in-store 3D knitting. Either as part of a large-scale RRP setup or as a lone system, these Intel 3D knitting booths could reportedly be used to create one-off items of clothing for customers, massively shortening the fashion supply chain and providing customers with unprecedented control over their purchases.

The 3D knitting stations proposed by Intel are not, however, the only new fashion-oriented technology the company has proposed. A new product called “ByReveal,” part of the overall RRP system, will purportedly specialize in providing a “concierge fashion experience” to customers, while enabling retailers and brands to test new markets, locations and products with pop-up boutiques.

VR will play an important part in Intel's new RRP platform

At the center of Intel’s new RRP platform, and indeed its 3D knitting technology, is IoT (Internet of Things) connectivity. Under the RRP platform, IoT devices like sensors will collect data on a huge scale, sending it to the cloud for analysis and transformation into usable facts on customer behavior, trends, and other helpful information that could help shop owners make their stores successful. But the IoT connectivity also goes further than that.

In addition to helping out with data management, RRP will improve store performance in other ways. RFID tags and new “Simbe Robotics’ Tally” robots will be used to help manage inventory in a fast, automated manner, ensuring that stock is in the right place and displaying the correct price tag. The Tally robots will be powered by an Intel Core i7 processor-based Intel NUC and will use a number of Intel RealSense cameras to help them understand the world around them as they move around a store. “With technology like robots and AI to free up employees, every aspect of the store and supply chain will allow retail employees to better focus on the customer and improve the store’s performance,” Krzanich said.

Of course, Intel would be doing futuristic shopping a disservice if it did not also embrace virtual reality (VR) in its new RRP package, and indeed the California tech giant has included something called the “ShopperMXTM HIVE” (high-immersion virtual experience) in its new retail platform. “This Windows-based 3D virtual reality solution with networked components allows for a totally new kind of immersive retail experience,” Intel says. “Merchants and brands can simulate shopping experiences, conduct virtual walk-throughs of new store layouts, and visualize new marketing and merchandising concepts in the context of a hyper-realistic virtual store.”

Tally is a shelf auditing and analytics robot for retail

So there you have it: Intel is launching a new retail solution that includes 3D knitting of on-demand clothing, virtual reality store exploration, shelf-stocking robots, and a whole lot more. Expect massive changes on your local high street.



Posted in 3D Technology



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