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Intel Continues Shift From PC Focus To Concentrate On IoT Connected Storefronts

The chipmaker is partnering with Japan’s SATO Systems on ‘near-real-time’ inventory and customer data.

Intel has followed up its $16.7 billion December acquisition of Internet of Things software provider Altera, with a partnership that’s designed to broaden its reliance on the flagging PC computer market and into retail tech services.

The chipmaker is teaming with Fort Lauderdale-based SATO Global Solutions, a subsidiary of Tokyo holdings company SATO Holdings, to create IoT-related services covering inventory management and customer data.

The program, which debuted at the National Retail Federation’s show in New York last week, is powered by Intel’s Retail Sensor Platform. It works by RFID tagging of all merchandise with a “unique signature” that stores can access through the database’s dashboard. Retailers will have complete knowledge of all of their different products, the amount in stock of each one, who buys them, how many are sold each day, etc.

“By using the new Intel Retail Sensor Platform, SGS can help deliver simple, affordable, effective inventory tracking and insight for retailers to improve consumer experiences and reduce operating costs solutions,” said Joe Jensen, VP, Intel IoT Group in a press statement.

Building Smarter Bricks

Improved inventory management isn’t the only benefit promised by the platform. SGS emphasizes the varied role that increasing the intelligence of brick-and-mortar technology can play in improving overall customer experience.

“Integrating near-real-time inventory data and customer data opens up new possibilities—allowing retailers to provide highly personalized and effective services to customers. This may include everything from offering extra discounts to loyal customers on overstocked items to using digital signage to push sales based on trending data from social media,” said Michael Beedles, president of SGS. “As an ‘Innovation Integrator,’ SGS develops future-proof expandable platforms to leverage optimal technologies to address clients’ needs.”

As we saw at CES a few weeks ago, the idea of “ambient intelligence” is set to sweep the retail world. From beacons to wi-fi analytics, storefronts are becoming smarter every day. Right now, many stores are building the infrastructure needed to support smart brick-and-mortar locations, all that’s needed is the right platform to power it. SGS’ partnership with Intel represents yet another company investing in the idea of connected online and offline retail experiences.

“SATO and Intel are connecting the dots to make big data analytics a reality for retailers,” explained Kaz Matsuyama, president and CEO of SATO Holdings Corporation. “With our software and systems integration expertise, we fill in that essential ‘last inch’ for customers in the retail space linking IoT technologies and data analytics to provide actionable insights to improve productivity, cut costs and drive sales.”

About The Author
Daniel Parisi Daniel Parisi @daniel_parisi_

Daniel Parisi is a New York City-based writer and recent graduate of the University of Maryland. Daniel specializes in coverage of mobile payments, loyalty programs, and the Internet of Things.