RTIH flags the biggest retail technology news stories of the week — Retail Technology Innovation Hub

4. Kingfisher introduces Athena to boost testing and learning with AI and machine learning technologies

Last week at Google Cloud Next, Kingfisher shared the work it has been doing with AI and machine learning technologies.

Group Head of Data Science, Mohsen Ghasempour, discussed how the retailer is harnessing these innovations to improve the customer experience and power growth.

He introduced Athena, an AI orchestration framework which will manage how Kingfisher prompts and interacts with AI language models, as well as other AI tools developed in-house.

This is designed with advanced controls to ensure security and provide protection against sensitive or inappropriate content.

Tom Betts, Group Data Director at Kingfisher, says: “Athena will help us test and learn with these technologies even faster.”

5. Amazon set to launch drone deliveries in the UK, Italy and third location in the US during 2024

Amazon customers in the UK, Italy and an additional US city will have the option to get their packages delivered by a Prime Air drone beginning in late 2024.

Specific cities in the US and abroad will be named in the coming months.

David Carbon, Vice President of Amazon’s Prime Air, says: “As part of our continued efforts to innovate for customers, we are excited to announce the expansion of Prime Air delivery internationally, for the first time outside the US.”

“We have been delivering packages by drone for almost a year in California and in Texas. We have built a safe, reliable delivery service and have partnered very closely with regulators and communities.”

“We will continue with that collaboration into the future to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers and the communities we serve.”

Prime Air is also unveiling a new MK30 drone design, which is said to be quieter, smaller, and lighter, than previous models.

6. Macy’s teams with Journee to launch new digital fashion platform, mstylelab, as part of Web3 strategy

Macy’s has launched mstylelab, a new engagement platform that, according to a press release, “journeys into the future of fashion merging the physical and digital realms to create cutting-edge experiences”.

This adds: “mstylelab aims to redefine fashion as a canvas for innovation, blending technology and immersive environments to empower discovery, self-expression, and connectivity.”

Accessible on any device, using any browser, the public is invited to join the community, create their usernames, collect a personalised digital item, and engage with the first activation, an immersive fashion experience built on the metaverse technology platform Journee.

“We are excited to launch mstylelab, the next evolution of our Web3 digital strategy, creating a hub for style inspiration and discovery at the intersection of fashion and technology,” says Dave Torres, Vice President of Interactive Marketing, Macy’s.

“As we grow and evolve the mstylelab digital platform and community, new activations and experiences will be brought to life creating immersive storytelling focused on fashion and style, in a fun and shoppable environment.”

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