Voice in Retail Environments

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One of the smartest applications of technology in retail over the past two decades was the price checking barcode scanner. Some individual or group was able to look at customer frustration points and the most common requests to store associates and say… “you know what… we need a way to allow customers to do this on their own.”

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Pure genius.

The price scanner is intuitive, easy, and there is sometimes excellent signage to find these scanners. What’s the next point of frustration? … finding items. Third… is the item in stock.

These are tasks that machines can do better and where voice interaction can speed the experience. A kiosk with a good USB mic can be used to help guide to the location of an item and indicate whether it’s in stock.

Some guidelines:

The room for innovation is things like guided lights or other waypoints that follow the customer around or help them if they get lost along the route.

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Independent daily thoughts on all things future, voice technologies and AI. More at http://linkedin.com/in/grebler

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