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Retail technology to be incorporated in stores

By Bradley Blackburn

NEW YORK (CBS) - Brick and mortar stores are incorporating more technology. Robotics and artificial intelligence are designed to speed up the buying process so customers can move faster and businesses can make more money.

At the National Retail Federation's Expo in New York, the hall is packed with gadgets and gizmos changing the way companies do business.

There are robots that can cook and some that look a lot like humans.

Apollo is a humanoid robot designed to work autonomously in warehouses and factories and unlike a human, Apollo can work almost non-stop.

"Four hours per battery pack, and then you just swap out the battery pack. (4) we target this 7 days a week, 22 hours a day," stated Barry Phillips, Apptronik.

At the grocery store - shelves are getting a high-tech upgrade.

Barry Bates with Lenovo showed us this display -- already in use in some U.S. stores.

Prices can be changed in an instant -- and a camera uses AI to collect demographics and learn about customers.

"How long do I linger and do I actually buy? So it's capturing that information for future reference," asked Barry Bates, Lenovo OEM Solutions Group.

This drive-thru being tested can detect customers who've opted into a loyalty program and shift the menu display based on their ordering history to emphasize items they may like.

And a convenience store may soon look like a giant ATM.

Startup 1-m robotics, backed by Microsoft, squeezes a whole store's inventory into a few hundred square feet. A kiosk takes your order and it brings the shelves to you, no clerk needed.

It's also designed to thwart shoplifting. Products are released only to paying customers.

"This prevents that altogether by having everything tucked away, behind the walls of the machine (5), while allowing the customer to get that seamless, frictionless purchasing journey," said Gonen Gershuni, 1mrobotics.

Technology helping business that could be in-store in more stores soon.

Article Topic Follows: Technology

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Vanessa Gongora

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