NRF 2016 video interview: Cisco on digitally disrupting the check-out queue

A significant technology trend of the moment is the Internet of Things (IoT) – or as Cisco likes to call it, the Internet of Everything. IoT is the idea that sensors can be used to make 'things' smarter and provide information for businesses to make efficient decisions.

While Cisco has been working on a multitude of ways to capitalise on IoT, Essential eCommerce caught up with Shaun Kirby, CTO of accelerated rapid prototyping for Cisco, at the NRF Big Show in New York City this week, to learn specifically about using this technology to reduce queues at the retail check-out.

Using the grocery store as an example, Kirby explained that supermarkets can capitalise on the millions spent understanding how a shopper navigates through a store and combine that knowledge with IoT sensors to determine when customers will go to the check-out to pay for their goods.

Predictions are made using sensors in the cark park and store to determine footfall in certain areas– for instance, customers usually go to the frozen food aisle right before check-out to ensure food does not defrost.

"Milk is also one of the last things customers put in their baskets, so removing a carton of milk from the shelf will send a signal to the grocer," explained Kirby.

This information means that supermarkets will understand in advance when queues will build up allowing them to redirect extra staff to cope with the demand.

Kirby said Cisco is working with a number of supermarkets to trial the technology in large sheds where it will be most beneficial.

"And on-shelf product availability is so hard to solve," he said. "In a supermarket, 10% of items are likely to be out of stock, which equates to around $1 billion loss per retailer, per year. But items may be misplaced, or spend time in a shopping cart, so the Internet of Everything can measure what is in stock."

Watch the short video of Shaun Kirby explaining Cisco's role implementing the Internet of Everything in retail below: