JD.com, Intel set up IoT lab to explore 'smart retail' applications

JD.com's Internet of Things retail lab will tap Intel architecture to develop next-generation vending machines, media and advertising services, and future technologies that can be deployed in modernised stores.

JD.com and Intel have set up a research lab to identify ways Internet of Things (IoT) can be used to develop next-generation retail applications, including vending machines and modernised retail stores.

The move further broadens the two partner's existing collaboration, in which Intel previously used its edge computing and computer vision architecture alongside JD.com's visual algorithm to analyse in-store foot traffic and purchasing patterns.

These analytics have been deployed in the Chinese retailer's unmanned D-Mart stores that featured smart shelves, sensors, smart cameras, digital signages, and cashierless checkout counters.

The new lab will use Intel's IoT architecture to develop next-generation retail applications such as vending machines, media and advertising services, and other technologies that can be used to modernise future stores.

JD.com's vice president and head of big data platform, Zhi Weng, said the research facility will utilise both companies' expertise to bring online shopping experience to offline retail environments, as well as offer a more personalised experience regardless of where consumers shopped.

Intel in September also announced plans to partner with JD.com's rival, Alibaba Group, in various initiatives, including the launch of an edge computing platform and the creation of the Apsara Stack Industry Alliance.

The edge computing platform integrates Intel's software, hardware, and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies with Alibaba Cloud's IoT offerings. It is touted to use computer vision and AI to interpret data collected at the edge and generate business insights.

The Apsara Stack alliance aims to build an ecosystem of hybrid cloud offerings for the Alibaba cloud service stack, which includes big data, middleware, security, and IaaS.

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