AR and AI

Lowe’s, Coca Cola, and Ikea Show that AR and AI are Not Just for Cool, Hip Startups

by Jenna Sindle

Retail Technology Insider has discussed at length how augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) are revolutionizing the retail space. Both of these technologies are doing heavy lifting for retailers when it comes to backend business intelligence as well as optimizing the customer journey.

In this week’s RTI retail news roundup, we’re taking a look at both AR and AI applied to world-renowned brands and how it’s affecting their relationship with their customers. The brands we are looking at are exceptionally exciting because they are so large and implementing technologies like these most assuredly has been a time-consuming and laborious process.

We’re excited to see how these brands are adapting to the expectations of their massive consumer base. Read more about how these companies are integrating AR and AI below:

Ikea’s New App Flaunts what You’ll Love Most about AR

For as cumbersome and tedious as the home furnishing process can be, it’s almost shocking that the AR movement has only just made its appearance in furniture retail space. The ability to have an entire plan for updating any living space before making any purchases is the dream for interior decorating types.

Ikea’s new home design app, Ikea Place, helps bear the burden of redesigning any space in a home by leveraging the power of AR, thanks to Apple’s ARKit. According to a recent article in Wired, users are able to, “Tap through the app’s catalogue of over 2,000 products—nearly the company’s full collection of umlauted sofas, armchairs, coffee tables, and storage units—then hold up your phone and use the camera to place the digital furniture anywhere in a room.”

While this isn’t Ikea’s first application of AR, it’s certainly one of their most sophisticated  and user-friendly options. Even though the application is not necessarily as exciting as other uses for AR today, the company aims to address real-life problems that most people face on a regular basis, thus boosting their brand loyalty and overall customer experience.

Read the whole story here.

Lowe’s Leverages Apple’s ARKit for New Apps

Ikea isn’t the only home improvement retailer looking to Apple’s ARKit to improve the app experience for its customers. Lowe’s continues to build out its AR tool box with the advent of two new apps, Measured and Envisioned.

Addressing many of the same problems that Ikea looks to solve, Lowes is making it easier for its customers to improve their homes and completely reclaim the mentality behind the redecorating process.

But this is definitely not even close to the complete vision that Lowe’s has for AR implementation. In a recent Retail Dive article, Dan O’Shea explained, “As more retailers, particularly from the home improvement and home decor sectors, bring out their own AR apps, having proprietary stakes in some of the tech used and experience working with it could be a differentiator for Lowe’s. The retailer looks to have the largest AR app roster of any retailer, with at least four apps that have been announced.”

Read the whole story here.

The Amazing Ways Coca Cola Uses Artificial Intelligence and Big Data to Drive Success

With an operation as large as Coca Cola’s, one would think that proper AI application, data management and analytics are absolutely paramount to smooth and efficient operation. And they’d be right.

Recently on Forbes, Bernard Marr explored how Coca Cola is applying AI and big data in order to keep their well-oiled machine across 200 countries going without a hitch. Coca Cola has poured a massive amount of effort into their AI initiative, dating as far back as 2012. In fact, the company’s Global Director of Digital Innovation, Greg Chambers said “AI is the foundation for everything we do. We create intelligent experiences. AI is the kernel that powers that experience.”

Coca Cola is even looking to create their own virtual assistant, similar to Alexa or Siri, in an effort to boost personalization and optimize customer experiences depending on location. Marr added, “The AI will also adapt the machines’ behavior depending on its location. This could mean more lively and excitable vending machines in malls or entertainment complexes, and more somber, functional behavior in a hospital.”

Beyond product development, Coca Cola applies AI to their model in order to create healthier options for consumers, experimentation with AR to diagnose and solve technical problems, social media data mining, and digital transformation within the company as a whole.

Read the whole story here.

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